Israel launches retaliatory strikes on Syria

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly warned his country will not allow Iran, its main enemy, to entrench itself militarily next door.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian Federation on Wednesday that Israel would not seek to topple its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but Moscow should encourage Iranian forces to quit Syria, a senior Israeli official said.

Israel is anxious about the presence of Iran, another Assad ally, in Syria, and demands all Iranian forces would completely withdraw from Syria.

Putin is obviously well aware of Israel's position on these matters, and the recent developments in southern Syria - where Syrian President Bashar Assad is poised to reassert his control over the area - will certainly be discussed in the Putin-Netanyahu meeting Wednesday evening.

Israel says it has treated between 4,000 and 4,500 war casualties from Syria since a humanitarian aid programme was begun some five years ago.

The Israeli official who requested anonymity said Russian Federation was working to distance Iranian forces from the Golan and had proposed that they be kept 80 km (50 miles) away but that this fell short of Israel's demand for their full exit along with that of Tehran-sponsored militias. "It is very important for the national security of the State of Israel", Netanyahu said before leaving for Moscow.

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"I have set a clear policy that we do not intervene and we have not intervened".

Netanyahu's remarks came as reports said Russian Federation would act to push Iranian forces from near the Syria-Israel border, and in exchange, Israel is expected not to "intervene" in Assad's efforts to stabilize his rule.

The military said the drone did not carry weapons and was created to carry out surveillance missions.

Israel attacks Syrian targets, July 11, 2018.

The two leaders will also watch together the World Cup semifinal between England and Croatia scheduled for late Wednesday. "The Patriot aerial defense system identified the threat and tracked it until its interception", the IDF Spokesperson Unit said in a statement on Twitter. "Let's have a thorough talk about them", Putin told Netanyahu before the meeting.

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