01172019Thu

Iran-Israel-Syria-border

Iran Focus

London, 27 August - At the beginning of the month, Russia announced that it had convinced Iranian forces, including Hezbollah, in Syria to move back from the Israeli border and keep a distance of about 85 kilometres (53 miles), after an escalation of Israeli military strikes against the Iranian-led forces.

However, some are speculating that this retreat by the Iranians will be short-lived. They argue that this retreat is nothing more than a tactical manoeuvre by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in order to reduce tensions for a short period before it returns to the border, citing Iran’s previous consolidation in Lebanon, where the Iran-backed Hezbollah has control.

US-Putin

Iran Focus

London, 25 August - Iranian interests in Syria are systematically being abandoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

John Bolton’s meeting with Israeli officials on Wednesday gives evidence to this. The US National Security Adviser claimed that Putin had told Trump “that he would be content to see Iranian forces all sent back to Iran.” Bolton added that Putin had offered the caveat, “I can’t do it myself.”

It seems that Putin’s interests in Syria are now increasingly divergent from those of Iran.

The US’s military base near to southern Syria’s al-Tanf border crossing

Iran Focus

London, 27 July - The US’s military base near to southern Syria’s al-Tanf border crossing may have been set up to train local Syrians to fight ISIS militants, but it also provides an effective counterweight to Iran’s malign activities in the region.

Army Major Josh Jacques, a spokesman for US Central Command (CENTCOM), said: “Our mere presence there accomplishes that, whether it’s a goal or not.”

Even though the US military is primarily focused on training a Syrian group called Maghawir al-Thawra (MaT) to defeat ISIS, CENTCOM commander US Army General Joseph Votel reports that the American presence indirectly impedes Iran’s “destabilizing acts” in the nation.

Trump and Putin

Iran Focus

London, 17 August - Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are reported to have “agreed in principle” that Iranian forces should leave Syria, during their meeting in Helsinki last month.

A US official in the Trump administration spoke to Bloomberg on condition of anonymity about the closed-door meeting in July and explained that both parties agreed about the need for forces from the Iranian military and militias back by Iran to leave the war-torn nation.

US counters Iran in Syria

Iran Focus

London, 26 July - The American military base near the Al-Tanf border crossing in Southern Syria was set up to train local Syrians to fight ISIS, but it also serves as an effective counter to Iran and its malign activities, according to US officials and experts.

Army Maj. Josh Jacques, a spokesman for US Central Command (CENTCOM), said: “Our mere presence there accomplishes that, whether it’s a goal or not.”

He went on to explain that the US military’s primary objective in Syria is the defeat of ISIS, so American soldiers at al-Tanf are currently training a Syrian group called Maghawir al-Thawra (MaT) who will fight ISIS militants.

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