Israel will not ‘rule out’ ties with Syrian govt - Defence minister

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman leads a faction meeting of his Yisrael Beytenu party in the Knesset

The delegation consisted of Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy, Alexander Lavrentiev, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly warned his country will not allow Iran, its main enemy, to entrench itself militarily next door. Russian Federation also has maintained warm ties with Israel and demonstrated a readiness to take its security concerns into account. "Obviously, our focus is on Syria and Iran. Our opinion is known that Iran needs to leave Syria - that is not something new for you".

In February, Israel said it intercepted an explosives-laden Iranian drone that flew into its airspace, triggering Israeli airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria. In exchange, Putin will expel the Iranians and their supporters from Syria, thus granting Netanyahu a historic victory.

Netanyahu thinks it is now possible to hunt several birds: the Iranian presence, Lebanon, Golan and ending the state of war through the real deal of the century. Russian Federation also has maintained warm ties with Israel and demonstrated a readiness to take its security interests into account.

The drone was an intelligence-gathering aircraft and belonged to the Syrian government and its remains have already been retrieved just south of the Sea of Galilee, nearly ten kilometers (six miles) inside Israel, an army spokesman told reporters.

"Using a Patriot battery, the IDF intercepted an unmanned aerial vehicle that infiltrated from Syria into Israeli territory", the IDF said in a statement.

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".

Netanyahu's national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, also participated in the meeting.

Israel has carried out scores of air strikes on suspected Iranian or Hezbollah deployments and arms transfers in Syria, seeing these as a greater threat than Assad and warning him not to abet them.

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.

Michael Harari, a pediatrician at Ziv hospital, said medical infrastructure in southwest Syria has largely broken down, and groups of Syrian children are brought to the facility every two to three weeks. "In that context, we rely on peaceful diplomatic means to resolve any differences and expect both sides to show restraint".

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