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Israel says downed Syrian spy drone over Golan Heights

13 November 2017

Elsewhere in his comments, the Israeli minister said that Tel Aviv had "set red lines" and that it would stand "firm" on them, alluding to the Israeli military strikes in Syria, carried out against suspected Hezbollah arms depots or in retaliation for attacks launched from the Syrian-controlled Golan. We will not allow the establishment of the Shiite axis in Syria as a base for forward action. All these reflect the arrangements for the near future in order to impose a fait accompli despite the global agreement which is expected later. But he stressed that Israel is not a party to the agreement and will defend its interests.

Israel fears an eventual Assad victory could leave Iran with a permanent garrison in Syria, extending a threat posed from neighbouring Lebanon by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and has been lobbying Russian Federation and the United States for reassurances that Iranian and Hezbollah forces will not be allowed to deploy near its border or set up bases within Syria. Israel has been closely watching Iran's involvement in the war in neighboring Syria.

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Yet, even if major forces agree upon suspending fights, we should be anxious about the new stage indicators of regional confrontations inside and outside Syria. The Revolutionary Guards have solidified the presence of their foreign militias and fighters in their strongholds in Syria, which are about 50 kilometers on the borders of Israel with Golan.

Therefore, the new Israeli threats are against Hezbollah in both Lebanon and Syria and they aim to confront the new reality.

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However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his televised remarks opening Israel's weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, did not elaborate on the new Washington-Moscow arrangement for Syria. Of course, the reason is clear, which is that the Syrian regime does not have enough military capabilities due to its losses. Israel, Turkey and Iraq all have borders with Syria and are directly involved in the details of the solution and the forces from local and foreign militias that would control the lands.

Although Iran does not have borders with Syria, it has expanded the most there.

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While Russian support has kept Assad in power, helping Putin expand Russian clout across the region, the U.S.is seeking to have influence in any plan to help the nation recover from years of civil war. The agreement only ends the presence of terrorist groups like ISIS, al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham but it will fail in ridding Syria of the more unsafe regional militias.

Israel says downed Syrian spy drone over Golan Heights