Monday, 22 October, 2018

Israel shoots down drone that entered its airspace from Syria

Israel 'not ruling out' eventual ties with Syria's Assad Israel will not ‘rule out’ ties with Syrian govt – Defence minister
Steven Clarke | 11 July, 2018, 22:40

Asked by a reporter if he anticipated a time when the Quneitra crossing would be reopened under the United Nations -monitored armistice between Israel and Syria, and whether the two old enemies could establish "some kind of relationship", Lieberman said: "I reckon we are a long way from that, but we are not ruling out anything".

The drone had come from Syria, traveled into Jordan, and then crossed over into Israel.

"We will continue to act firmly against any violation of Israeli airspace or territory", Netanyahu said ahead of a meeting between the two leaders in Moscow. The military said it had waited over 15 minutes before firing a Patriot missile at the drone, during which time officials verified that it was not being flown by Russian Federation, which is providing military support to the Syrian regime.

The IDF confirmed that Israel had been in touch directly with Russian forces based in Syria in order to ensure that it was not their drone.

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".

In a reminder of the volatile situation, Netanyahu pointed at an incident earlier Wednesday in which the Israeli military fired a Patriot missile to shoot down a drone that had infiltrated Israeli airspace from Syria.

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Netanyahu thinks it's now possible to hunt several birds, the Iranian presence, Lebanon, Golan and ending the state of war with the real deal of the century. Tensions were brewing along the border in recent months, with Israel launching attacks on Iranian targets in Syria in response to Iranian rocket fire aimed at Israel. An Israeli warplane was shot down during the reprisal.

Iran is backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the war, as is Russian Federation.

However, there have recently been signs of an emerging compromise among key players.

Netanyahu's national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, also participated in the meeting. On July 6, Israel struck a Syrian post that it said had shelled the Golan buffer zone. Maybe he thinks there is a unique chance to end the Golan dispute in exchange of supporting the Assad regime to be in control over all of Syria.

Russian Federation is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but has turned a blind eye to frequent sorties by Israeli aircraft against targets of Iran and the Hezbollah militant group in Syria. "In that context, we rely on peaceful diplomatic means to resolve any differences and expect both sides to show restraint".

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