Israeli leader Netanyahu visits Putin in Russian Federation ahead of Trump summit

Arturo Kim
July 13, 2018

A Patriot missile shot down the drone, after it set off air-defence sirens on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and the Jordanian border, Reuters reported.

Earlier on Wednesday, Israel fired a Patriot missile to intercept what initial findings showed was an unarmed drone that may have been on an intelligence mission, the Israeli army said.

Israel's air force attacked three military positions in Syria Wednesday night, the Israeli army reported.

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

"We will continue to act decisively against any spillover and any infiltration of Israeli territory or airspace", Netanyahu said.

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An Israeli military ambulance drives past tanks in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, near the border with Syria.

Netanyahu reportedly insisted in his first sit-down with Putin that Iranian forces in Syria be evacuated following the country's civil war. In 1981, the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) adopted the law "On the Golan Heights", which unilaterally proclaimed Israel's sovereignty over this territory. Damascus also repeatedly denied that the Iranian military has any significant presence in Syria, noting that only the Islamic Republic's military advisers are now present on the ground. Israel worries Assad could let his Iranian allies entrench there or that Syrian forces may defy a 1974 Golan demilitarisation. Though Israel never really looks very far for an excuse to attack Syria, previous interceptions, and firing on attacking warplanes has led Israel to quickly escalate strikes. It bombed Iranian targets in Syria in response to that incident.

Shoygu remarks coincide with visits by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas and an adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Akbar Velayati, to Russian Federation.

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

"We made a decision to bring with us two wonderful children who are bravely fighting cancer: Mika, whom my wife and I have known for nine years, and Alon, whose parents emigrated from Russian Federation and who likes soccer very much".

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