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

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

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

"The IDF will continue to operate determinedly and decisively against any attempts to hurt Israeli civilians and breaches of Israeli sovereignty".

That episode triggered a massive Israeli bombardment of Iranian military installations in Syria, fueling tensions that exploded in another round of rockets and counter-strikes later in the year.

Israel has been on high alert as Syrian government forces advance on rebels in the vicinity of the Golan, worrying Assad could let his Iranian allies entrench near its lines.

His 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. "These can clash or it can align", the Israeli official said.

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According to state-run SANA, "Syrian air forces intercepted an Israeli aggression and downed a number of missiles which were targeting T-4 airport in Homs".

Rocket sirens triggered in the Golan Heights and Jordan Valley, the IDF said. That has raised Israeli concerns that he may try to deploy troops there in defiance of a 1974 United Nations demilitarisation accord on the Golan.

Israel shot down an unarmed drone that entered its airspace from Syria on Wednesday afternoon local time, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

Netanyahu's government has made clear it would not cede the Golan now and has been lobbying for USA recognition of Israel's claim of sovereignty there.

Israel will not dismiss the possibility of future relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday. On July 6, Israel struck a Syrian post that it said had shelled the Golan buffer zone.