Syrian government vows to fight rebels despite USA warning

Syrian government vows to fight rebels despite USA warning

Syrian government vows to fight rebels despite USA warning

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that only Syrian government troops should have a presence on Syria's southern border, which is close to Jordan and Israel.

The move comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to discuss Iran with several European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and UK Prime Minister Theresa May, next week.

Mr Tzuriel said he believed that the Israeli strikes - combined with America's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement and economic discontent within Iran - were fueling tensions between Iran and its Russian and Syrian allies.

A Syrian state-run newspaper says Damascus will keep fighting the country's rebels - or "terrorists" as the government calls opposition fighters - despite USA warnings against a new offensive in southern Daraa province.

Jordan said on Monday it was discussing south Syria with Washington and Moscow, and all three agreed on the need to preserve the ceasefire, which reduced violence since they brokered it past year.

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In addition to violence inside Syria, Daraa's location on the border of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights makes any operation there highly sensitive. A separate report in a Saudi newspaper said the regime had agreed that Iranian militias would stay 25 kilometres away. The Iranians denied they had fired any rockets.

In a Jordanian hotel, Iranian representatives reportedly negotiated with Israeli officials over Syrian territories bordering on the Golan Heights.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported Syrian army movements into the south and state media have reported leaflet drops on rebel-held areas there urging insurgents to accept government rule, two signs a military offensive may be coming. The report said a Jordanian mediator carried messages between the sides.

It averts possible direct confrontation between Iran and Israel in Syria, where tensions have heightened between the foes.

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