Israel says it hits Syrian army posts after drone incursion

Posted July 13, 2018

Syrian state media said the missiles targeted positions around Hader village in the southern province of Quneitra, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

After shooting down a drone crossing in from Syria early in the morning, the Israeli Air Force attacked three Syrian Army posts on Wednesday, saying it was punishment for the drone itself, which they blamed on the military.

Several missiles launched by Israeli aircraft have struck Syrian army positions in the Quneitra Governorate near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, in what the IDF called a retaliation for an earlier drone infiltration.

Last month, Israel fired a missile at a drone that approached its airspace near the Syrian frontier, and in February Israel shot down what it said was an Iranian drone that entered its airspace.

"The IDF will not allow any violation of Israeli airspace and will act against any attempt to hurt its civilians", the IDF added. The Netanyahu government is detemined to keep fighters loyal to Assad and to Iran out of the Syrian Golan border area near Israel.

A later military statement said the drone had "infiltrated the Israeli border", without providing further details.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated that warning during a visit to Moscow for talks with Vladimir Putin. The plateau is not recognised internationally as Israeli territory.

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

Israel attacks Syrian targets, July 11, 2018.

In the heaviest Israeli firing since the start of the Syrian War, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the strikes killed at least 23 military personnel, including Syrians and non-Syrians.

Israel is especially concerned about Iran's military presence in Syria.

Israel took control of Golan from Syria in 1967 during the Middle East war. Israel worries Assad could let his Iranian allies entrench near its lines or that Syrian forces may defy a 1974 Golan demilitarization.

Israel has signalled openness to eventual ties with Assad, a tacit acknowledgement that he is re-consolidating power as he routs Syria's rebels.