While for Israel removing all pro-Iranian forces from Syria is the number one priority in the region.
Sputnik has discussed Israel's "red lines" in Syria with Efraim Inbar, president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies.
Sputnik: In your view how realistic is Israel's wish to see all Iranian and it's affiliated troops leave Syria?
Sputnik: How dependent is Bashar al-Assad on Iranian troops in your opinion?
Efraim Inbar: I think there is a decreasing dependence upon Iranian troops because after all, he's winning the civil war. So there's less opposition to the Assad regime, less violent opposition, and the better he does during the civil war, of course, the less he needs Iranian troops.
Sputnik: Do you think Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump will be able to convince Vladimir Putin to limit his support for Iran in the light of US sanctions against Tehran and the possibility of new sanctions against countries that buy Iranian oil, this has been reported in the last couple days of course?
Sputnik: If Iranian troops do leave Syria partly or fully is there a danger of a security vacuum in the country that could negatively affect its neighbors, including Israel? And who could then take the burden of then fighting ISIS* and other extremist groups, we've seen this happen historically both in Iraq and in Libya where once the campaigns have finished, the Americans have left, this vacuum was created, this destabilized the situation and these Islamist groups, these radical groups have moved in which obviously then caused this exacerbated situation we find ourselves internationally, what's your take on that then?
Efraim Inbar: I think this is obviously a possibility. After all, the Arab regimes have problems in terms of legitimacy and we've seen it during what's called the Arab Spring, and this is precisely why there's a civil war in Syria, this is why there is turmoil in Yemen, in Libya. Of course, this is a possibility and this is part of the Middle East reality, that the dictatorial regimes may be replaced by chaos.
Efraim Inbar: I think there is a good understanding between Israel and Russia at this time, basically, the understanding is that Israel is not undermining the Assad regime and the Russians allow to some extent a free hand to the Israelis in fighting the Iranian presence. This is the current understanding and I hope it will continue.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia
The views expressed in this article are solely those of Efraim Inbar and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.