JERUSALEM — A map included in a preliminary agreement that seeks to establish buffer zones in southwest Syria indicates that Iran-backed forces could deploy within several miles (kilometers) of the Israeli frontier.

The map of the agreement, reached between the U.S., Russia and Jordan last week, shows the buffer area nearly abutting the town of Quneitra next to the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the map on Wednesday.

Israel has long complained about the involvement of archenemy Iran and its proxy Hezbollah in Syria. Officials say Israel is not a party to last week’s “memorandum of understanding” and will defend its interests.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday that Israel maintains the right to “act freely” and will not allow Syria to become a front line.

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JOSEF FEDERMAN
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