US-Russian brokered ceasefire in Syria goes into effect Sunday afternoon

Ceasefire goes into effect Sunday at noon; Netanyahu warns Iran and terrorist organizations of build up in Syria; Netanyahu: Ceasefire must not enable the establishment of a military presence by Iran and its proxies in Syria in general and in southern Syria in particular.

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A U.S-Russian brokered ceasefire in southwestern Syria took effect Sunday afternoon.

The ceasefire came after an agreement was reached between the United States, Russia and Jordan at the G20 summit in Hamburg Friday.

Following a meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin, United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated on the agreement “I think this is our first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria, and as a result of that we had a very lengthy discussion regarding other areas in Syria that we can continue to work together on to de-escalate the areas.”

Israel was assured that its concerns, Iran and Hezbollah, would be factored into any agreements in Syria, Russia’s Deputy Ambassador to Israel Alexey Drobinin stating last week that both Russia and Israel are both “in the same boat” in fighting terrorism. He stated “Israel can fully count on Russia for its interests to be factored into any future security, political and diplomatic agreements relating to Syria… Russia and Israel have formed many channels to conduct intensive, practical and professional dialogue on everything regarding the situation in Syria.”

Netanyahu also confirmed the United States commitment to Israel’s interest after a conversation held last week with Secretary of State Tillerson.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Netanyahu confirmed that Syria and Iran’s activities in the region were discussed with President Putin and Tillerson last week. Netanyahu stated to his cabinet Sunday morning “Israel will welcome a genuine ceasefire in Syria but this ceasefire must not enable the establishment of a military presence by Iran and its proxies in Syria in general and in southern Syria in particular. I had deep discussions about this last week with US Secretary of State Tillerson and with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both told me that they understand Israel’s position and will take our demands into account.”

On Iran and Hezbollah, he stated “For our part we will continue to monitor developments beyond our borders while strongly upholding our red lines: Prevent the strengthening of Hezbollah via Syria, with emphasis on the acquisition of precision weapons, prevent Hezbollah – or Iranian forces – from establishing a ground presence along our border, and prevent the establishment of an Iranian military presence in Syria as a whole”.