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Syria Today – Message to Israel? Russia Deploys Forces in Golan Heights

Your daily brief of the English-speaking press on Syria.
Syria Today – Message to Israel? Russia Deploys Forces in Golan Heights

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday it had deployed additional forces in the Syrian-controlled areas of the Golan Heights, where Israel had allegedly struck at an increasing rate over the last few months, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The forces, from Russia’s military police, were tasked with de-escalating tensions in the Syrian provinces of Quneitra and Daraa, as well as monitoring the longstanding ceasefire issued as part of the Syrian Civil War.

According to Russia, military posts belonging to the Syrian military are located below the Russian observation posts, set up to monitor “possible provocations.”

Russia’s decision to make their presence in the Golan Heights comes after Moscow condemned a strike, blamed on Israel, targeting the Iranian consulate in Syria.

Moscow called on the Jewish state to cease such “completely unacceptable” actions and has requested a meeting with the UN Security Council regarding the strike.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said such attacks violated all the foundations of international law.

Russia’s cynical use of the Golan Heights

Russia had also continuously used Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights as a sticking point in arguing for its invasion of Ukraine 

Last year, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the United States of being “hypocritical” in its recognition of the Golan Heights as part of sovereign Israel.

Lavrov, who compared the Golan Heights to Ukraine’s war-torn Donbas, hinted that the US does not take its own vow to “respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all UN member states” seriously.

Tehran vows response after strike blamed on Israel destroyed Iran’s Consulate in Syria 

Iran on Tuesday vowed to respond to an airstrike widely attributed to Israel that destroyed Iran’s Consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus the previous day and killed 12 people, including two Iranian generals and a member of the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group, AP reported.

Four Syrian citizens were also killed in the strike, a Syrian official said Tuesday, without providing any details about them. Hezbollah, which has been a key ally of both Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and Iran, also pledged “punishment and revenge” on Israel.

Iran’s deputy U.N. ambassador Zahra Ershadi told a contentious emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council that some Iranians were injured, but “The final and accurate death toll remains uncertain as the entire diplomatic premises has been destroyed with individuals trapped under the rubble.”

Israel, which has repeatedly targeted Iranian officers in Syria and in Lebanon, did not confirm Monday’s attack.

Iran provides money and weapons to Hezbollah, as well as Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups fighting Israel in Gaza. Clashes between Israel and Hezbollah along the Israeli-Lebanese border have increased since the war in Gaza began nearly six months ago.

At UN, US warns Iran not to target it over Syria strike

Reuters reported that the United States warned Iran on Tuesday not to retaliate against it for an attack on Iran’s embassy compound in Syria, telling the U.N. Security Council it had no prior warning of the strike that Tehran has blamed on Washington’s ally Israel.

The strike on Monday – that Iran said killed two of its generals and five military advisers – marked one of the most significant attacks yet on Iranian interests in Syria, where Israel has stepped up a long-running campaign against Iran.

“We will not hesitate to defend our personnel and repeat our prior warnings to Iran and its proxies not to take advantage of the situation – again, an attack in which we had no involvement or advanced knowledge – to resume their attacks on U.S. personnel,” said deputy U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Robert Wood.

Attacks by Iran-backed proxies against U.S. troops based in Iraq and Syria stopped in February after Washington retaliated for the killing of three U.S. troops in Jordan with dozens of airstrikes on targets in Syria and Iraq linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and militias that it supports.

Iran told the 15-member Security Council that it reserves the right “to take a decisive response” to the attack, accusing Israel of violating the founding U.N. Charter, international law, and the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises.

“The United States is responsible for all crimes committed by the Israeli regime,” said Iran’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Zahra Ershadi, accusing the U.S. of trying to destabilize Syria and the region and calling it out for supporting Israel in its war with Palestinian militants Hamas.

American Federal judge orders Iran, Syria to pay $191M for Hamas-supported slaying of American Israeli activist

Fox News reported that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found on Thursday that the family and estate of Ari Fuld are entitled to compensation due to Iran and Syria’s support for terrorism. Neither Iran nor Syria sent lawyers to represent them in the case, resulting in a default judgment.

“The stabbing that killed Mr. Fuld was a tragic event, and money cannot fully account for the harm that these defendants have inflicted,” Senior Judge Royce Lamberth wrote in the ruling. “Iran and Syria have, once again, provided material support to Hamas and thereby facilitated the savage murder of a husband, father, son and brother to these plaintiffs.”

“The court’s ruling today cannot erase plaintiffs’ pain, but it can begin the process of affording them due compensation for their loss,” he added.

Relatives and friends mourn during the funeral of Ari Fuld, 45, an American-born Israeli fatally stabbed by a Palestinian member of Hamas, at a cemetery in Kfar Etzion in the West Bank.

Fuld, who was 45 at the time, was outside a mall in the Jewish West Bank area of Gush Etzion in 2018 when 17-year-old Palestinian Khalil Jabarin fatally stabbed him. Fuld, a father of four, chased his assailant after the stabbing before succumbing to injury, Israeli Ynet News reported. A bystander shot Jabarin, stopping him before he was apprehended.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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