Syrian air defences thwart Israeli missile strike in south

Leroy Wright
July 12, 2018

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian Federation on Wednesday that Israel would not seek to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but that Moscow should encourage Iranian forces to quit Syria, a senior Israeli official said.

Syria's official news agency SANA reported late on Wednesday that Israeli warplanes fired several missiles at Syrian army positions located close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights causing only material damage.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travelled to Moscow on Wednesday for Syria talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose military is helping Assad beat back a 7-year-old insurgency.

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

The IDF spokesman confirmed that a Syrian UAV was intercepted by a Patriot missile.

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.

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"The IDF will continue to operate determinedly and decisively against any attempts to hurt Israeli civilians and breaches of Israeli sovereignty".

Russia, another top key ally of Assad, has warned it would be unrealistic to expect Iran to fully withdraw from the country.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow is ready to discuss the issue of supplying Syria with the S-300 missile system.

Netanyahu's national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, also participated in the meeting.

The Golan Heights was captured by Israel amid war in 1967 and illegally annexed in 1981.

Israel has warned Iran, which is allied with the Syrian government, against building up a military presence on its doorstep.

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