Israel attacked Syrian army posts on Thursday near the Golan frontier after a drone incursion, but signaled it would not impede President Bashar al-Assad’s battle to recover south Syria from rebels. With the help of heavy Russian air power, Syrian government forces have swept through the southwest. Their offensive against insurgents is expected to turn soon to Quneitra, which adjoins the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, briefing Israeli reporters on a visit to Moscow, indicated that Israel would not act against Assad, while it is working to ensure the exit of the Iranian forces that fight alongside his army.
“We never had a problem with the Assad regime. For forty years (after the 1973 Middle East war), not one bullet was fired on the Golan Heights,” a reporter for Israel’s Haaretz newspaper quoted Netanyahu as saying.
“The heart of the matter is retaining our freedom of action against anyone who acts against us, and the removal of the Iranians from Syrian territory,” Netanyahu said, a day after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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