Israeli Forces Shoot Down Drone on Syrian Border - IDF

Illustrative

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified to the U.S. and Russian Federation that Israel will continue to operate in Syria in accordance to its security interests, despite the ongoing efforts of the two powers to obtain a ceasefire. But he stressed that Israel is not a party to the agreement and will defend its interests. "This is what's happening and this is what will continue to happen". But it has carried out dozens of airstrikes on alleged arms shipments bound for Hezbollah.

Israel has signaled its unease with the extension of the ceasefire deal in southwestern Syria brokered by Russian Federation and the USA, making clear it reserves the right to carry out airstrikes and other measures to counter Iran's growing military presence near the Jewish state's borders. It considered that the civil war serves Israeli purposes - a sectarian swamp in which "Hezbollah" and Iranian powers get involved with "ISIS" and thought that they must have lost a lot of militants during the past three years.

On Saturday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Israel "will not allow the Shiite axis to be established in Syria as a base for action", after new photos were published of a permanent Iranian base being built some 50 kilometers from the Israeli Golan Heights. Russia, which views Iran as a key player in resolving the crisis in Syria, has repeatedly emphasized the importance of the role that the Islamic Republic plays in the war-torn country.

A U.S. State Department official said Russian Federation had agreed "to work with the Syrian regime to remove Iranian-backed forces a defined distance" from the Golan Heights frontier with Israel, which captured the plateau in the 1967 Middle East war.

Last month, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reportedly told Israel that Moscow had agreed to expand the buffer zone along the Israeli-Syrian border, which Iranian and Hezbollah forces will not be able to enter, by 10-15 kilometers.

The drone was intercepted by a Patriot missile in the demilitarised zone between the Israeli-and Syrian-controlled parts of the Golan, a military spokeswoman said in a statement. That deal was explicitly opposed by Israel at the time, based on concerns - borne out by developments on the ground over the summer - that Iran and its proxies, like the Lebanese Shia terrorist organization Hezbollah, would fill the vacuum in Syrian territories liberated from ISIS.

The reconnaissance drone was believed to be operated by the Syrian regime, reported CNN, quoting Israeli Army official as saying.

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