'Deal with Russia is good, but Iran won't comply'

INSS head says deal with Russia to prevent Iran and Hezbollah from moving into southern Syria has no enforcement mechanism.

Gary Willig,

Israel-Syria border
Israel-Syria border

Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, Executive Director of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, warned that the deal reached between Israel and Russia to ensure that there will be no Iranian or Hezbollah presence in southern Syria would not end the Iranian threat in Syria.

Yadlin wrote on his Twitter account Monday evening: "The Russian call for all foreign forces to leave Syria is a positive development with respect to the threat posed by Iranian entrenchment there. That being said, it is important to remember that the Iranians were not party to that announcement and Assad did not ask them to leave."

He added: "The agreement reported tonight is relevant only to the Syrian regime's efforts to regain southern Syria.The campaign will be waged without Iran or Hezbollah, who will be distanced from the border."

"The core of the Iranian threat are advanced, accurate, long-range ballistic missiles positioned even beyond the Golan Heights, and that issue has not yet been resolved. Israel should continue the effort to prevent it, despite all the risks that come along with that.

"The INSS pointed to three red-lines for Iran in Syria: qualitative (ballistic missiles with advanced guidance systems); quantitative (Shia militias); and geographic - which the U.S. and Russia agreed to resolve in an important understanding between them.

He concluded: "Enforcement or any sort of agreement to ensure that the Iranians or Hezbollah do not cross the quantitative or qualitative Israeli red-lines has yet to be achieved."

Under the agreement, which was reported Monday evening, Russia will publicly call on all foreign elements to leave all of Syria, referring to Iran, Hezbollah, but also the United States and Turkey.