Report: Iran, Hezbollah preparing to retreat from Israeli border
Anti-Assad group claims Iranian, Hezbollah fighters prepping for withdrawal from Israeli border, following pressure by Russia.
Iranian forces are preparing to withdraw from southern Syria, pulling back away from the Israeli border, an anti-government monitoring group claimed Thursday.
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Iranian Revolutionary Guards forces and Iranian-backed Shi’ite groups, including the Hezbollah terror organization, are preparing for a mass-withdrawal from the border area.
The SOHR claims that Iranian forces and Hezbollah terrorists are preparing to leave Quneitra, on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, and from Daraa, in the southwestern edge of Syria, near Jordan.
The apparent withdrawal of Iranian and Iranian-backed forces from the vicinity of the Israeli border comes just days after Russia declared that all non-Syrian forces operating on the Syrian side of the Israel-Syria frontier should be removed.
Speaking at a press conference in Moscow on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signaled that his country had accepted Israel’s long-time demand that Iranian forces not be allowed to operate near the Israeli frontier.
“Of course, the withdrawal of all non-Syrian forces must be carried out on a mutual basis, this should be a two-way street,” Lavrov added.
“The result of this work which should continue and is continuing should be a situation when representatives of the Syrian Arab Republic’s army stand at Syria’s border with Israel.”
Russia has pushed Iran and allied militias to withdraw from the border areas, AP cited Russian media outlets as saying, as part of a deal which would see the deployment of Russian forces to serve as a buffer between Israel and Syria.