Israel remains concerned about Iranian influence in southern Syria, despite high level discussions between United States and Israeli security officials in Washington last week.
The Israeli delegation that visited Washington last week included Yossi Cohen, head of the Israeli external intelligence agency Mossad, and the head of IDF Military Intelligence. The delegation was discouraged by the U.S. position on Syria.
The delegation was sent to the U.S. to warn against military deployments by Hezbollah, Iran and the Syrian regime, and to tell the U.S. “exactly what is going on there” according to officials.
An Israeli media report noted that the delegation shared “sensitive, credible and deeply troubling intelligence,” showing the expanding deployment of Iranian forces in Syria, which estimates put at 500 Iranian army soldiers, 5,000 Hezbollah fighters and several thousand guerrillas from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
American officials reportedly refrained from pledging that they would insist on the removal of all pro-Iranian militias from Syria in the cease-fire talks currently under way with Russia.