Assad via Putin signals Netanyahu that he’s open to Golan demilitarization

by WorldTribune Staff, November 26, 2017

Syria is prepared to discuss with Israel the disarmament of the Golan Heights as part of an agreement that would leave President Bashar Assad in power, a report said.

Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russian President Vladimir Putin Assad and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Nov. 20 in Sochi. / Kremlin Pool via AP

Assad, in a message conveyed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Damascus was ready to discuss the disarmament of the Golan Heights up to 40 kilometers from the separation line, and to examine autonomy for the Kurds and Druze in Syria, according to a report by the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida.

Putin’s phone call to Netanyahu came after the Russian president met with Assad in Sochi on Nov. 20.

A Western source also told Al-Jarida that Netanyahu had assured Putin that he was ready to discuss Assad’s demands with the Israeli security institutions. The Israeli prime minister also stressed the necessity of removing Hizbullah and Iran from Syria, the source said.

The source added that he expects the Syrian crisis to increase after defeat of Islamic State (ISIS), especially if “Teheran continues to play with fire,” noting Iran’s presence in southern Syria, and that Israel has stressed that it will attack Iranian installations and activities within 40 kilometers of the Golan Heights.

“Syria will not be the same again as it was in the past, and it is determined to be a federal or confederate state,” the source said, adding that, according to a senior official, Lebanon would not be immune to such a move, and the new map of the region would reflect this.

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