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Russia Apparently Seeks Reduction of Tension on Israel-Syria Border

Reports from the pan-Arab newspaper A-Sharq Al-Awset again support the idea that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to keep the Iranians (and its terror proxy Hizbullah) and Israelis separated on the Golan Heights by fully 15 miles, an idea articulated by Syria according to the newspaper. It was reported that Putin served as the intermediary between Damascus and Jerusalem. The report comes a day before Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is due in Moscow for talks about containing the Iranians in Syria. The Russian call for a Syrian presence in southern Syria is being read as offering an alternative to Iran being there. Based on the newspaper report, it appears that the Russian president wants to head-off what could easily become a major clash building between Israel and Iran. Complicating matters now is the change of players on Team Trump, with new SecState Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton reportedly proffering changes in the security agreement worked out by Russia, the US and Jordan last November. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu remains adamant that the Jewish state will not allow Iran to dig-in on its doorstep.