The statement comes amid rising tensions between Iran’s forces in Syria and Israel.







Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The Kremlin.

Russia’s top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov, said on Monday that only Syrian Army troops should be positioned along Syria’s southern border with Israel and Jordan, Reuters reported, citing the Russian RIA news agency.

Lavrov’s statement, which was made during a joint press conference in Russia’s capital with his counterpart from Mozambique, comes amid numerous meetings between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin about the countries’ security coordination in the Middle East. In addition, several recent attacks in Syria have been attributed to Israel by foreign media, Iran and Syria.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Iran and its presence in Syria. “We are countering the Iranian military buildup in Syria that targets us and we are also acting against the [attempts to] transfer dangerous weapons from Syria to Lebanon,” Netanyahu stated at the beginning of this week’s government meeting. “All of these weapons are designated for use against the State of Israel, and it’s our right, as part of the right of self-defense, to prevent their production or transfer.”

“The regime in Tehran is the main factor that disrupts the stability in the Middle East,” he added. “The fight against its aggression hasn’t ended yet—we are still in it.”

Earlier this month, Netanyahu warned the leaders of Greece and Cyprus about Iran’s ongoing efforts to expand its influence in the Middle East and threaten Israel’s existence. “[Tehran] openly calls daily for our destruction, the elimination of Israel from the face of the earth, and it practices unmitigated aggression against us and against anyone else in the region,” he said while in Cyprus for a summit with the leaders. “It has a terror network that is spread throughout the world. It is now seeking to implant very dangerous weapons in Syria to be used against Israel for the specific purpose of our destruction.”