Israel sees benefits in Assad gains | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 03, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 03, 2018

Israel sees benefits in Assad gains

Russia to deploy military police on Golan Heights

Gains by President Bashar al-Assad's forces in the Syrian civil war present advantages for Israel even though the two countries remain technically at war, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Russia yesterdays said it will deploy its military police on the Golan Heights frontier between Syria and Israel, after weeks of mounting volatility in the area.

Assad's sweeping away of rebels in southwestern Syria has worried Israel, which believes it could allow his Iranian backers to entrench their troops close to the frontier.

Sergei Rudskoi, a senior Russian defence ministry official, said that Russian military police yesterday began patrolling in the Golan Heights and planned to set up eight observation posts in the area.

He said the Russian presence there was in support of United Nations peacekeepers on the Golan Heights who, he said, had suspended their activities in the area in 2012 because their safety was endangered.

He said the Russian presence there was temporary, and that the observation posts would be handed over to Syrian government forces once the situation stabilised.

The deployment of the Russian military police highlights the degree to which the Kremlin has become an influential actor in Middle East conflicts since its military intervention in Syria which turned the tide of the war in Assad's favour.

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