Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel and Russia had agreed to cooperate on withdrawing foreign forces from Syria. If confirmed, it would mean that Russia has agreed to force the Iranians out of Syria, a significant development for both Israel and the Syrian war itself. It’s even more critical given that another round of talks between Turkey, Iran and Russia to find a settlement to the war is looming.
Russia has yet to confirm or deny Netanyahu’s comments, but it seems unlikely the Israelis would put Russia on the spot this way if they weren’t true. Israel wants Iran out of Syria, but it also wants accommodation with Russia. And the two countries have already shown some degree of cooperation in their Syrian operations. Israel has likely provided Russia with advance notice of its airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria, and so far, Russia has not blocked or, as far as we can tell, notified the Iranians about the strikes. In addition, Turkey,
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