World Bulletin / News Desk
The proposal was made during talks Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held on Monday with visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Military Chief-of-Staff Valery Vasilyevich Gerasimov in Jerusalem.
"The Russians are speaking about (the 100-km buffer zone) and are committed to it, but we said there are also long-range weapons beyond this zone, and all those forces must leave Syria," an Israeli official said on condition of anonymity.
The official, however, stated the Russian offer to create a 100-km buffer zone, in which neither Iranian forces nor pro-Tehran militias would be present, was a first step in the right direction.
“Israel is demanding that all long-range missiles to be removed from Syria and that any factories producing precision-guided missiles there to be shut,” the official said.
“Additionally, Jerusalem has asked Moscow to guarantee that all air-defense systems that protect the guided missiles to be taken out of Syria,” he said.
The Israeli official said Tel Aviv also requested the closure of border crossings between Syria and both Lebanon and Iraq “to prevent Iranian weapons being smuggled into Syria”.
“We will continue to operate against Iranian presence on the Syrian soil,” the Israeli official said.
Israel frequently accuses Tehran of exploiting the ongoing conflict in Syria -- where Iran supports the ruling Bashar al-Assad regime -- to establish a permanent military presence near Israel’s borders.
While Russia also supports the Syrian regime, it remains in close communication with Israeli military officials in order to avert potential clashes.