Israel 'not ruling out' eventual ties with Syria's Assad

Israeli soldiers at an army base in the Golan Heights look out across the border with Syria

Israeli soldiers at an army base in the Golan Heights look out across the border with Syria

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, Reuters reported. In exchange, Putin will expel the Iranians and their supporters from Syria, thus granting Netanyahu a historic victory.

The IDF's top spokesman, Brigadier General Ronen Manelis, said that "the IDF will not allow violation of Israeli airspace and will act against any attempt to harm its citizens".

Russian Federation was working to distance Iranian forces from the Golan and had proposed that they be kept 80 km (50 miles) away but this fell short of Israel's demand for their full exit along with that of Tehran-sponsored militias, the official said.

An Israeli official said Wednesday night Netanyahu told Putin that Israel will not seek to unseat Assad from power, while urging Moscow to remove Iranian troops from the country, according to an Israeli official. Still, it is impossible to ignore the questions of whether either side can deliver what the other wants, and may make the reported trade a very hard issue to approach. He added that the latter scenario was "not common".

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.

Lieberman has also stepped up rhetoric against the Syrian military warning them not to enter a buffer zone in the Syrian Golan Heights established after a 1973 war with Israel.

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After it was shot by a USA -supplied Patriot missile, drone fragments fell into the water.

"Their use of military force in Syria would inevitably lead to an escalation of tensions across the entire Middle East region", he said.

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

Under Assad family rule, Syria held direct negotiations with Israel in the United States in 2000 and indirect talks mediated by Turkey in 2008. A Syrian commander said the drone was engaged in local operations.

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.

"Any Syrian soldier found in the buffer zone is endangering his life, " Lieberman said while touring the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

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