A group of Syrians on Tuesday approached the Israeli fence along the Golan. They demanded that the border be opened and brandished a sign reading, “Israel should stop the barbaric attacks against us now.”
An increasingly effective offensive by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, backed by Russian air power and Iranian-supported militias, has driven long-entrenched rebel groups from southern Syria since mid-June, profoundly changing the dynamic of the 7-year-old civil war.
The destabilizing presence of Iranian forces aiding Mr. Assad is likely to be a prime topic of concern when President Trump meets Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
The rebels last week signed a deal with Moscow to lay down heavy weapons and cede the border regions with Jordan to Mr. Assad’s forces. Iranian and Syrian news outlets reported that government forces had cut off the key southern provincial capital of Daraa, just 8 miles from the Jordanian border, and that its fall was imminent.
Now Israel faces its greatest test in seven years of war: How to keep Iran from benefiting from Syria’s offensive and threatening Jerusalem.