Israel says it will strike in Syria despite truce

Pauline Gross
November 15, 2017

Israel signaled on Sunday that it would keep up military strikes across its frontier with Syria to prevent any encroachment by Iranian-allied forces, even as the United States and Russian Federation try to build up a ceasefire in the area.

"I have clarified to our friends in Washington and our friends in Moscow that we will operate in Syria, including southern Syria, in accordance with our understanding and in accordance with our security needs", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday affirmed the joint efforts to stabilise Syria as its civil war wanes.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the worldwide community.

Israel has long complained about the involvement of archenemy Iran, and Iranian proxy Hezbollah, in the Syria war.

The prime minister also said that Israel has offered humanitarian assistance to quake victims in Iran through the Red Cross.

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His regional cooperation minister, Tzachi Hanegbi, sounded circumspect about the deal, telling reporters that it "does not meet Israel's unequivocal demand the there will not be developments that bring the forces of Hezbollah or Iran to the Israel-Syria border in the north".

A week after Haaretz reported that Netanyahu would not be addressing the yearly gathering, officials at the Prime Minister's Office said on Monday that he would indeed would be interviewed by live satellite during the event.

The comments, carried by Russian news agencies RIA and Interfax, came following media reports that claimed that the USA and Russia had struck a deal to limit pro-Iranian militias from encroaching on the Israeli and Jordanian borders in southern Syria and would eventually see all non-Syrian fighters purged from the country altogether. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman blamed the drone on the Syrian government.

Russia, which has a long-term military garrison in Syria, has said it wants foreign forces to quit the country eventually.

Tel Aviv revealed, Monday, a secret meeting held last week between IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot and US General Curtis Scaparrotti in Brussels - it meant to discuss Iran's dominance in Syria and intention to impose its presence in the region via installing land and navy military bases.

Other reports by GizPress

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