Dubai: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel doesn’t object to the stabilisation of President Bashar Al Assad’s regime in Syria, but would defend its borders against any actions by his military, according to Haaretz newspaper.
Netanyahu, who traveled to Russia on Wednesday to meet with President Vladimir Putin, said Israel has not and will not intervene in the Syrian civil war, Haaretz reported.
The paper cited remarks made by the prime minister at a media briefing in Moscow.
Pointing to the presence in Syria of Daesh militants and fighters from Iran-backed Hezbollah, however, Netanyahu said Israel reserved the right to act against threats.
Israel has already carried out numerous strikes against Iranian targets in Syria and arms convoys bound for Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside Assad’s forces.
Before leaving Israel, Netanyahu said he’d press Putin, whose military intervention in Syria swung the war in Al Assad’s favor, to eject Iranian forces from Syrian territory.
On Wednesday, Israel shot down an unarmed Syrian drone in the Occupied Golan Heights.
Israel captured and occupied the Syrian territory in the 1967 War.
The aircraft was downed by a Patriot missile and crashed 10 kilometres inside Israel south of the Sea of Galilee, Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an army spokesman, told reporters.
The preliminary assessment was that the drone was on an intelligence-gathering mission, but it isn’t clear whether it was sent deliberately toward Israel or strayed over the frontier.
The military sent four fighter jets and two attack helicopters into the air while trying to determine why it crossed.