Israel threatens 'harsh response' to any Syrian forces in demilitarized Golan

Minnie Murray
July 13, 2018

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.

The Israeli military said on Wednesday that it had shot down a drone from Syria that had entered its airspace.

Israel has intensified its bombing of military infrastructure in Syria over the last couple of months, despite the conflict winding down, with terrorists and extremist militants controlling ever-decreasing swathes of land and so-called "moderates" joining the state-wide reconciliation process in growing numbers.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said missiles likely fired by Israeli forces hit the north of the province and areas along the border with the Golan.

According to Haaretz, the drone was tracked after it went about 6 miles into Israeli territory.

Russia, another top key ally of Assad, has warned it would be unrealistic to expect Iran to fully withdraw from the country.


Netanyahu travelled to Moscow on Wednesday for talks with President Vladimir Putin, who in the past has turned a blind eye to Israeli strikes on Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria while making clear Russian Federation does not want Assad's rule endangered.

Talks also are expected to concentrate on Israel's fight against Iranian presence in Syria.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Giornale published Wednesday that Moscow hopes that Israel and Iran will both display caution and avoid a showdown. Israel worries that he could deploy troops or allow his Iranian and Hezbollah allies to set up emplacements near Israeli lines, Reuters noted.

"We will discuss Syria, we will discuss Iran, we will discuss Israel's security needs", Netanyahu told reporters before departing. 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.

Israel seized a large swathe of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it, in a move never recognised by the global community.

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