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July 11, 2013 12:14 pm
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Report: Israel, Russia May Reach Agreement to Halt S-300 Delivery to Syria

avatar by Zach Pontz

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UNDOF peacekeepers consult a map. Photo: UN.

Israel could drop its opposition to Russia stationing troops on the Golan Heights as members of the UN peacekeeping force – if Moscow cancels plans to ship S-300 missiles to Syria, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper a-Sharq al-Awsat reported Wednesday.

Despite reports to the contrarya-Sharq al-Awsat said that Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni had discussed the matter in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, with the latter suggesting cancellation of the S-300 deal as a “gesture” to Israel for Jerusalem’s agreement to allow Russian troops to take up posts on the Golan.

It is not clear why Russia is interested in stationing its troops on the Golan, but in June, the country expressed interest in sending the troops, in place of Austrian troops who had left their posts as fighting between Syrian troops and rebels raged nearby.

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Russia applied to have its troops join the patrol known as UNDOF, but according to UN rules, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, it cannot include its troops in the Golan peacekeeping force, as per the UN-brokered cease-fire agreement between Israel and Syria which established UNDOF after the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Earlier this year Israel expressed concern over Russian plans to deliver the anti-aircraft s-300 system, saying its range could reach deep into the Jewish state and threaten flights over its main commercial airport near Tel Aviv.

In May, Syrian President Bashar Assad told Lebanese news outlet Al-Manar that the country had already received a first shipment of S-300 parts from Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin disputed this claim last month, saying that the country understood Israel’s concerns, while not ruling out the system’s eventual transfer to Syria, as “the contract was signed several years ago.”

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  • John

    This is Russia’s advance party to the Ezekiel 38-39 battle. They will likely trickle in more and more over time. Just understand its the Lords doing because He says “he will put hooks in their jaws and draw them down from the north”. The United Stated lacks the political will or means to do anything to help so that when God defeats this huge invasion the world won’t be able to say, it was because they helped. So the world will know there is a God who loves Isreal. Read the script it’s all right there….

  • RP

    This will be a tricky trade-off. How can Israel be sure that Russia complies with the agreement?

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