Israel shoots down drone that entered its airspace from Syria

Israel 'not ruling out' eventual ties with Syria's Assad

Israel 'not ruling out' eventual ties with Syria's Assad

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 worldwide community.

Lieberman's remarks could foreshadow a more open approach to Assad ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Syria talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday.

The drone was an intelligence-gathering aircraft and belonged to the Syrian government and its remains have already been retrieved just south of the Sea of Galilee, nearly ten kilometers (six miles) inside Israel, an army spokesman told reporters.

Asked by a reporter if he anticipated a time when the Quneitra crossing would be reopened under the UN-monitored armistice between Israel and Syria, and whether the two old enemies could establish "some kind of relationship", Lieberman said: "I reckon we are a long way from that, but we are not ruling out anything".

Supposedly Israel waited 15 minutes before shooting it down, so they could check with the Russians, and make sure it wasn't theirs before shooting it down.

Israel has carried out scores of air strikes on suspected Iranian or Hezbollah deployments and arms transfers in Syria, seeing these as a greater threat than Assad and warning him not to abet them.

This trade, as reported by the Israeli press, would have Netanyahu offering to see Russian Federation given full relief from US-imposed sanctions in return for Russian Federation expelling Iranian military from Syria.


Wednesday's incident came as Netanyahu travelled to Russian Federation to meet President Vladimir Putin to discuss Syria.

"We are still looking into why it crossed - whether it was on a military mission and crossed on goal, or it strayed", he said, while adding that the latter scenario was "not common".

It also came days after Syria accused Israel of conducting an airstrike against the T-4 air base in central Syria, which Israeli officials have said is used as a headquarters for Iranian forces in the country.

Israel has been on high alert as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces advance on rebels near the Golan Heights and Jordan.

"Their use of military force in Syria would inevitably lead to an escalation of tensions across the entire Middle East region", he said.

A Syrian drone infiltrated Israeli airspace Wednesday and was shot down by a Patriot missile fired by IDF aerial defense units in the north of Israel.

Under Assad family rule, Syria held direct negotiations with Israel in the United States in 2000 and indirect talks mediated by Turkey in 2008.

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