Meeting Putin, Netanyahu says Israel will counter all border violations

Blanche Robertson
July 12, 2018

In exchange, Putin will expel the Iranians and their supporters from Syria, thus granting Netanyahu a historic victory.

This is the second time in a month that Israel has intercepted a drone flying in from Syria.

"In recent weeks we are prepared for the possibility of Israeli sovereignty being violated as a result of the fighting in Syria", Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson Ronen Manelis said.

In February, Israel said it intercepted an explosives-laden Iranian drone that flew into its airspace, triggering Israeli airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria.

Tension has increased at the border as President Bashar al-Assad's forces have pressed towards it with an assault against rebels.

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.

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Israel, which captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war, has largely stayed out of the current conflict. Israel worries that Assad could let his Iranian and Hezbollah allies gain a foothold near Israeli lines.

The two leaders have met regularly since Putin deployed warplanes, missiles and related paraphernalia to a military base outside the Syrian port city of Latakia in September 2015.

"At the moment, Assad needs Russian fighter jets and militias that are commanded by Iran, but afterwards, when he controls the whole of Syria and emerges as the major victor in the civil war, he will want to go back to being the only ruler". "I very much appreciate the direct, unmediated and excellent contact that I have with the Russian president".

Keeping a doctor's appointment in Israel, Syrian children and their mothers stepped across a tense Golan Heights border in the dead of night under the watchful gaze of Israeli soldiers.

Netanyahu thinks it is now possible to hunt several birds: the Iranian presence, Lebanon, Golan and ending the state of war through the real deal of the century. Netanyahu's government has made clear it would not now cede the Golan and has been lobbying for USA recognition of Israel's claim of sovereignty there.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear that Israel will not tolerate a military presence by Iran or its proxies anywhere in Syria and that Syria must strictly abide by the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement", the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement. A Syrian commander said the drone was engaged in local operations. On July 6, Israel struck a Syrian post that it said had shelled the Golan buffer zone.

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