Israel targets Hezbollah positions in Syria in conjunction with maritime border demarcation negotions with Lebanon

BEIRUT / TEL AVIV — After holding the third session of negotiations to demarcate the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel, Syriac Maronite Lebanese President Michel Aoun received the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Ms. Dorothy Shea on Friday to discuss the ongoing negotiations.

Following the visit, the United States Embassy issued a statement expressing the hope that the talks would lead to a long-awaited solution to the issue.

As for details, the Lebanese Armed Forces confirmed in a statement its commitment to the confidentiality of the negotiations.

Separately, the commander of the 210th Division of the Israeli Army, Brig. Gen. Roman Goffman, told the Russian News Agency that his forces had carried out several raids in recent weeks targeting Syrian fortifications that had been erected directly on the border line in the Golan Heights, and partly on Israeli territory, without direct clashes with Syrian soldiers.

Goffman added that the biggest threat to the Israeli army in the Golan area at present was Lebanese Hezbollah, not Syria. Syria’s military capacity has drastically deteriorated, said Goffman, and its army will need years to recover. Iran and Hezbollah, however, can build a front in southern Syria against Israel as their militias continue to infiltrate the area and fortify positions.

“This is a big risk for us, for the Syrian government, and for Syrian citizens living in southern Syria, because Hezbollah is taking Syrians in the south as hostages,” Goffman said.

The strategic goal for Israel, according to Goffman, is to prevent the presence of Iran and Hezbollah in southern Syria specifically, and in Syria in general.