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    Avigdor Lieberman speaks during a press conference after meeting with his German counterpart on June 30, 2014 in Berlin.

    Establishing Safe Zones Not to Limit Israeli Freedom of Action in Syria - DM

    © AFP 2018 / Wolfgang Kumm
    Middle East
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    Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel had no intention to start a military campaign in Syria, however, Tel Aviv would continue responding to shelling from Syrian territory.

    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) — The creation of de-escalation zones in Syria will not limit Israel's capabilities to act in the war-torn country in case of threats to the security of the Jewish state, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday.

    "The United States and Russia are currently holding active talks… on buffer zones and so on. I hope they will reach mutual understanding, good agreements. But this will not limit our freedom of actions. Despite everything we will continue doing all necessary things to provide Israeli interests," Lieberman said at the Herzliya Conference on security.

    According to Lieberman, Israel had no intention to start a military campaign in Syria, however, Tel Aviv would continue responding to shelling from Syrian territory, preventing attempts of terrorist attacks, and stopping militant groups, such as Lebanon-based Hezbollah, from getting modern weapons.

    At the latest Astana talks on Syria, which took place on May 3-4, Russia, and Iran alongside Turkey — the guarantor states of the Syrian ceasefire regime — signed a memorandum on the establishment of four de-escalation zones in Syria. The monitoring and management of the safe zones is carried out by military personnel from the ceasefire guarantor states.

    One of the safe zones, that is particularly important for Israel, is expected to be created in the southern Syrian region that borders Jordan and the Golan heights, the area under Israeli control. Israel is concerned that the Hezbollah movement and other Iranian proxies may appear in that area.


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