Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

'Assad safe from Israel if Iran removed from Syria,' Netanyahu tells Putin

'Assad safe from Israel if Iran removed from Syria,' Netanyahu tells Putin

"And I would like to point out that we will be preventing any attempts to violate our air or land border", Netanyahu said as he met Putin.

This meeting comes a week before Putin will meet President Trump, and Netanyahu may try to use his close ties to Trump as an advantage in the Wednesday talks.

The IDF spokesman confirmed that a Syrian UAV was intercepted by a Patriot missile.

A statement by the Israeli Defense Forces said it was unclear whether the drone was on a reconnaissance mission, and added that it may have simply diverted from its route, Haaretz reported.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu met with Russian envoys Alexander Lavrentiev and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin, in Jerusalem, reiterating again Israel's objection to an Iranian presence in Syria.

Israel has been on high alert as Syrian government forces advance on rebels in the vicinity of the Golan, worrying Assad could let his Iranian allies entrench near its lines.

The Emek HaYarden region is located southwest of the Golan, near Syria.

The Israeli leader has met with Putin numerous times since Russia's military intervention in Syria began three years ago.

However, Lieberman appeared to signal acknowledgment that Assad would regain control of the Syrian side of the Golan.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian Federation on Wednesday that Israel would not seek to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but that Moscow should encourage Iranian forces to quit Syria, a senior Israeli official said.

Under Assad's family rule, Syria held direct negotiations with Israel in the United States in 2000 and indirect talks mediated by Turkey in 2008. Netanyahu's government has made clear it would not now cede the Golan and has been lobbying for US recognition of Israel's claim of sovereignty there.

The group of more than 40 mothers and children that crossed over in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday were among the 3,000 Syrians who Israel says have received separate treatment in what it calls "Operation Doctor's Appointment". On July 6, Israel struck a Syrian post that it said had shelled the Golan buffer zone.

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