Israel shoots down Syrian drone, top brass says

Israel will not ‘rule out’ ties with Syrian govt – Defence minister

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.

That incident came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Moscow for talks with Vladimir Putin about Syria and Iran.

Russia, whose 2015 intervention in the Syrian civil war turned the tide in Assad's favor, has largely turned a blind eye to repeated Israeli air strikes in Syria targeting suspected Iranian or Hezbollah emplacements and arms transfers.

"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.

"We will continue to act decisively against any spillover and any infiltration of Israeli territory or airspace", Netanyahu said.

Syrian state media reported that the Syrian air defenses in the border areas intercepted some of the Israeli missiles fired in, stopping attacks in the village of Hader, and ensuring the attack caused only material damage. The plateau is not recognised internationally as Israeli territory. The province borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

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"We won't take action against the Assad regime, and you get the Iranians out", the official, who requested anonymity, quoted Netanyahu as telling Putin during a meeting in Moscow.

The anonymous Israeli official said Russian Federation was working to distance Iranian forces from the Golan and had proposed that they be kept 80 kilometres away but that this fell short of Israel's demand for their full exit along with that of Iranian-sponsored militias.

Responding to a reporter's question if Israel would establish some kind of relations with Syria, Lieberman responded: "Our assessment is that we are far from that, but we do not rule out anything".

Israel has launched a campaign against, what it claims, to be Iranian targets in Syria in recent months.

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

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