Israeli Patriot missile intercepts drone from Syria, army says

Israeli Patriot missile intercepts drone from Syria, army says

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

Israel said a Syrian drone, apparently unarmed and designed for surveillance, entered its airspace and was downed with a Patriot missile near the Sea of Galilee on Wednesday.

Rocket sirens triggered in the Golan Heights and Jordan Valley, the IDF said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian Federation on Wednesday that Israel does not intend to threaten Bashar al-Assad's regime and asked Moscow to work to remove Iranian forces from Syria, an Israeli official said.

Israel, which captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war, has largely stayed out of the current conflict.

Russian officials had no immediate comment on the meeting.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. He added that the latter scenario was "not common".

Israel has signalled openness to eventual ties with Assad, a tacit acknowledgement that the Syrian president is re-consolidating power as he routs the country's rebels. Netanyahu's government has made clear it would not now cede the Golan and has been lobbying for US recognition of Israel's claim of sovereignty there.

Israeli soldiers stand guard as Syrians cross the armistice line to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to get medical treatment in Israel, July 11, 2018.

Israel will not dismiss the possibility of future relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday.

"At the meeting (with Putin), the prime minister will make clear that Israel will not tolerate military entrenchment by Iran or its proxies anywhere in Syria, and that Syria must abide meticulously by the 1974 separation agreement", an official Israeli statement said.

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