Israel Intercepts Incoming Drone from Syria

Israel Intercepts Incoming Drone from Syria

Israel Intercepts Incoming Drone from Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian Federation on Wednesday that its ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be safe from Israel, but Moscow should encourage Iranian forces quit Syria, a senior Israeli official said.

Russian officials had no immediate comment on the meeting.

Israel says it has treated between 4,000 and 4,500 war casualties from Syria since a humanitarian aid program was begun some five years ago.

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

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The Israeli army said the unmanned aerial vehicle was intercepted by the missile after infiltrating 10 kilometers Israeli territory, and was shot down over the Sea of Galilee. It had also flown over Jordan, he said.

In February Israel shot down an Iranian-operated drone that it tracked entering its airspace from Syria. The army said it will "not allow any violation of Israeli airspace and will act against any attempt to hurt our civilians".

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

Netanyahu called the meeting "substantive", noting the importance of preventing misunderstandings before they occur rather than afterward.

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Israel has largely stayed out of the fighting in Syria but it has carried out dozens of airstrikes on alleged arms shipments bound for the militant group Hezbollah.

"We will discuss Syria, we will discuss Iran, we will discuss Israel's security needs", Netanyahu told reporters before departing to Moscow.

Israel has been on high alert as Assad's forces advance on rebels in the vicinity of the Golan Heights, much of which Israel captured from Syria in 1967 and annexed in a move not recognized internationally.

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