Israeli air strikes hit southwest Syria: Damascus state media

Israel will not ‘rule out’ ties with Syrian govt – Defence minister

Israel intercepted a drone launched from Syria with a Patriot missile on Wednesday, setting off sirens in the occupied Golan Heights, the army said.

Israeli forces attacked Syrian regime military positions near the Golan Heights border in the early hours of Thursday, causing limited damage, Syrian state media said.

The military said it will "continue to operate determinedly and decisively against any attempt to breach Israeli sovereignty and will act against any attempt to hurt its civilians".

Syrian government forces backed by Russian Federation have launched an offensive in the southern Deraa province and are widely expected to move on rebel-held Quneitra, which is within a part of the Syrian Golan covered by the armistice.

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.

He said the incursion threatened "the safety and security of Israel's northern cities and towns" and added that Israel has "repeatedly warned the Security Council of the destabilizing activities taking place in Syria and the threats they pose to Israel and the Middle East".

In a series of posts on Twitter the Israeli army said it hit the three military posts "in response to the infiltration of the Syrian UAV into Israel".

Israel is alarmed by Iranian influence in Syria during the seven-year civil war, striking targets it describes as Iranian deployments or convoys of Hezbollah, a Lebanese movement backed by Tehran. We will not allow Iran's entrenchment in Syria and we will not allow Syrian soil to be turned into a vanguard against the State of Israel. "We will discuss Syria, we will discuss Iran, we will discuss Israel's security needs", Netanyahu told reporters before leaving.

Israel seized a large swathe of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it, in a move never recognised by the global community.

In recent days, Israel has noted the serious refugee problem created by the Syrian regime's routing of areas in southern Syria near the border with Jordan.

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