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Israel detects Russian shift on Iran's presence in Syria

Israeli military sources sense that President Donald Trump, President Vladimir Putin and even Iranian President Hassan Rouhani wouldn't object to Israel pushing Iran out of Syria.

“Ironically, when it comes to the issue of Iran in Syria, we have a rare case of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Benjamin Netanyahu, Hassan Rouhani and Bashar al-Assad all sharing a common interest,” a very senior military source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “All of these leaders want Iranian forces to get out of Syria.”

When asked why he included Iranian President Rouhani in this list, the source said, “It was no mistake. Iran hasn’t had a uniform position for a very long time now. There is a fierce internal debate underway, and it is reflected on the ground. There’s a state within a state there. The Revolutionary Guards and the Quds Force are one entity, while the president and the official institutions are a second. The last thing that Rouhani wants is to continue investing the few billion dollars that Iran has in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. He would prefer to bring all those troops home and invest in the Iranian economy instead, but [commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force] Qasem Soleimani continues to enthrall the one person in charge of the big money and all the major decisions … [Supreme Leader] Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.”

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