Israel hits Syrian posts after drone breached its airspace

Hannah Rogers
July 14, 2018

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to attend the FIFA World Cup semi-finals after meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday.

Israel has been on high alert as Syrian regime forces advance on the opposition and rebels in the vicinity of the Golan, which Israel took from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.

The meeting between Netanyahu and Putin occurred one day ahead of a scheduled meeting between Putin and a senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, who on July 11 hailed what he called Tehran's "strategic relationship" with Russian Federation.

They have been alarmed by the presence of Iran during the seven-year war in Syria.

Israel is alarmed by recent development in the area, saying the threat from Iran is growing.

Israel has repeatedly said it will not allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence on its doorstep in neighboring Syria.

Israel seized a large swathe of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in 1981, in a move never recognised by the global community.

Separately, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, diplomat and senior foreign affairs advisor to the Iranian parliament's speaker, stressed that Iranian advisers would remain in Syria "notwithstanding aggressive Israeli attacks", Al-Watan reported.

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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.

Israel has intensified its bombing of military infrastructure in Syria over the last couple of months, despite the conflict winding down, with terrorists and extremist militants controlling ever-decreasing swathes of land and so-called "moderates" joining the state-wide reconciliation process in growing numbers.

Both Tehran and Damascus have vehemently rejected Israel's demand. They said a Patriot missile was used to shoot the drone down.

On May 10, the Israeli Air Force hit dozens of suspected Iranian targets in Syria following a rocket attack on IDF positions in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Media reports suggested that Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump might announce such a compromise deal at their scheduled summit on July 16 in Helsinki, Finland.

Netanyahu will be meeting Putin as a critical meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders is taking place in Brussels - with Trump expected to bash his allies for not paying enough for their defense - and before the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in five days.

"We know about your concerns".

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