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As ringmaster, Russia runs Israel-Iran balancing act in Syria

A deal brokered by Russia has something for everyone involved — Syria, Israel, Iran and, of course, Russia itself — and has defused at least temporarily what could have become a deadly showdown between Israel and Iran.

Russia is continuing efforts to enforce an agreement designed to stabilize the situation at the border between Israel and Syria. Under the agreement, Iranian forces and their proxies are pulling back from southern Syria in exchange for Damascus' resumption of control of the Syrian-Israeli border and Israeli recognition of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s authority over Syrian territory according to the 1974 borders.

Russia also moved to deploy its military police at the Golan Heights frontier between Syria and Israel and plans to set up eight observation posts in the area. This effort is designed to prevent a direct conflict between Iran and Israel.

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