Monday, 19 November, 2018

Netanyahu to Putin: remove Iran from Syria, Assad safe from Israel

Israel 'not ruling out' eventual ties with Syria's Assad Israel will not ‘rule out’ ties with Syrian govt – Defence minister
Jeannette Daniel | 12 July, 2018, 02:08

Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the drone was constantly monitored and that it traveled about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) inside Israeli territory.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly warned his country will not allow Iran, its main enemy, to entrench itself militarily next door.

He added that military officials believe the drone was Syrian and that it could have been on an intelligence collecting mission, but it was not yet clear if it purposely entered Israel or strayed from its path.

After it was shot by a USA -supplied Patriot missile, drone fragments fell into the water.

Israel will not dismiss the possibility of future relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday.

Supposedly Israel waited 15 minutes before shooting it down, so they could check with the Russians, and make sure it wasn't theirs before shooting it down.

Israel has signalled openness to eventual ties with Assad, a tacit acknowledgement that he is re-consolidating power as he routs Syria's rebels. "We intercepted it and we will continue to act decisively against any spillover and any infiltration of Israeli territory or airspace".

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Wednesday's incident came as Netanyahu travelled to Russian Federation to meet President Vladimir Putin to discuss Syria.

Since turning the tide of Syria's civil war by intervening militarily in 2015 on Assad's behalf, Russian Federation has turned a blind eye to scores of Israeli air strikes against Iranian and Hezbollah deployments or arms transfers, while making clear it wanted Assad kept immune.

A Syrian drone infiltrated Israeli airspace Wednesday and was shot down by a Patriot missile fired by IDF aerial defense units in the north of Israel.

"Their use of military force in Syria would inevitably lead to an escalation of tensions across the entire Middle East region", he said.

Under Assad family rule, Syria held direct negotiations with Israel in the United States in 2000 and indirect talks mediated by Turkey in 2008.

According to the spokesman, the delay was due to initial uncertainty over who was operating the drone, specifically if it was being flown by Russian Federation, whose air force has been flying extensive missions over southern Syria to support dictator Bashar Assad's offensive against two rebel-held provinces in the area.

"Any Syrian soldier found in the buffer zone is endangering his life, " Lieberman said while touring the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

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