Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russia's President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images

Israel denied claims today by Russian officials and reports in Arab media outlets about new understandings that were allegedly reached about the situation in Southern Syria. An Israeli official told me that no deal was reached with the Russians so far.

Why it matters: The Syrian army is about to start a military operation against rebels in Southern Syria near the Israeli and Jordanian borders, which would violate a ceasefire deal signed by the U.S., Russia and Jordan last July.

The state of play: The Russians want to update the deal because of the Syrian army operation. Israel, the U.S. and Jordan are open to the Russian proposal but want to make sure it will include a firm commitment from the Russians that Iranian forces, Hezbollah and Shia militias will not take part in the operation and will be completely removed from the areas close to the Israeli and Jordanian borders. 

What they're saying: Russian ambassador to the U.N. Vasily Nebenzya told reporters in New York on Friday that an agreement on disengagement in the Southwest part of Syria was reached with Israel.

  • He added: "Whether it has been implemented as of now I can not answer, but I understand that the parties that were involved in reaching the agreement are satisfied with what they reached. If it has not been done by now it will be done in the near future."

An Israeli official told me: "The Russian attitude towards getting the Iranians out of Syria is much more positive than before. The Russians are moving in the right direction but until now we only heard ideas from the them and we haven’t seen anything on paper. The devil is in the details and the big test is the implementation."

The details: The Israeli official added that Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed in his phone call with Russian president Putin on Thursday and in his phone calls with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday and Friday that Israel wants the Iranian forces, Hezbollah and Shia militias out of the entire Syrian territory and not simply out of the areas close to the Israeli border.

  • The official said that Netanyahu told Putin and Pompeo Israel will maintain full freedom of operation against Iranian military entrenchment attempts anywhere in Syria.

Go deeper: U.S. and Israel coordinate terms for new deal in Southern Syria

Go deeper

Amy Coney Barrett: "Should I be confirmed, I will be mindful of who came before me"

Trump introduces Amy Coney Barrett as nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photo: Olivier Douleiry/Getty Images

In speaking after President Trump announced her as the Supreme Court nominee to replaced Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett said on Saturday she will be "mindful" of those who came before her on the court if confirmed.

What she's saying: Barrett touched on Ginsburg's legacy, as well as her own judicial philosophy and family values. "I love the United States and I love the United States Constitution," she said. "I'm truly humbled at the prospect of serving on the  Supreme Court."

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 32,683,686 — Total deaths: 990,977 — Total recoveries: 22,535,887Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 7,072,897 — Total deaths: 204,446 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,488,275Map.
  3. States: New York daily cases top 1,000 for first time since June — U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.

What they're saying: Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden of the White House on Sept. 26. Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Democratic and Republican lawmakers along with other leading political figures reacted to President Trump's Saturday afternoon nomination of federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

What they're saying: "President Trump could not have made a better decision," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. "Judge Amy Coney Barrett is an exceptionally impressive jurist and an exceedingly well-qualified nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States."