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Russia Intensifies Search for Remains of Israeli Soldiers Near Damascus

Russia Intensifies Search for Remains of Israeli Soldiers Near Damascus

Wednesday, 24 February, 2021 - 08:30
File Russian air force personnel prepare to load humanitarian cargo on board a Syrian Il-76 plane at Hemeimeem air base in Syria, on January 20, 2016 (AP/ Vladimir Isachenkov)

Russian troops continue. for the third week, digging operations at the Yarmouk refugee camp cemetery in south Damascus in search of the remains of Israeli soldiers who were killed decades ago and buried in that area.

“More than three weeks have passed since the Russian forces started to search for the remains of two Israeli soldiers and prominent Israeli agent Elie Cohen in the south of the capital Damascus,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Tuesday.

It said according to reports, the Russian side should have achieved results after three weeks of excavations and conducting DNA analyses of the remains exhumed from these graves.

The Observatory said delays have sparked popular discontent in the region, while the Syrian regime authorities expressed no reaction or comment although the Russians have desecrated the dead.

The Russian operations near Damascus come in light of the vaccine deal reached between Israel and Syria a few days ago, and the repercussions that linked it to normalization with Israel in the next phase. Famous Syrian artist, Dored Lahham, who is close to the regime, said that he has no objection to normalization under certain conditions.

On January 19, SOHR sources reported that a meeting between the Russians and regime officials in Moscow and Damascus discussed the normalization of ties between Isreal and Syria.

Regime representatives currently question whether normalization will lead to the lifting of US sanctions on Syria.

The Observatory said that normalization with Israel would undoubtedly lead to clearing Iran from Syria and that it would help avoid Israeli attacks on Damascus.

It added that the Iranians still enjoy considerable power inside Syrian territory.

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