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Israel Signals Free Hand in Syria as U.S., Russia Expand Truce

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem Nov. 12, 2017. PHOTO: Abir Sultan/Pool/Reuters

By Dan Williams | 12 November 2017

REUTERS — Israel signaled on Sunday that it would keep up military strikes across its frontier with Syria to prevent any encroachment by Iranian-allied forces, even as the United States and Russia try to build up a ceasefire in the area.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday affirmed joint efforts to stabilize Syria as its civil war wanes, including with the expansion of a July 7 truce in the southwestern triangle bordering Israel and Jordan.

A U.S. State Department official said Russia had agreed “to work with the Syrian regime to remove Iranian-backed forces a defined distance” from the Golan Heights frontier with Israel, which captured the plateau in the 1967 Middle East war. […]

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