Israel will continue to protect its interests and operate in Syria, says Netanyahu

Just a few days after US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed obtaining a ceasefire in Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he clarified to both leaders that he intends to continue to protect Israel’s borders and operate in Syria.
Benjamin Netanyahu Photo Credit: Alex Kolomoisky, Flash90/Israeli Air Force/Channel 2 News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified to the US and Russia that Israel will continue to operate in Syria in accordance with its security interests despite the ongoing efforts of the two powers to obtain a ceasefire. “We protect our borders, our country, and we will continue to do so,” Netanyahu announced on Monday.

“We are doing this with a correct combination of firmness and responsibility,” stressed the prime minister during a Likud meeting today. “I explained to our friend in Washington first, as well as our friend in Moscow, that Israel will continue to operate in Syria, including southern Syria, according to our understanding and security interests. This is what’s happening and this is what will continue to happen.”

Netanyahu’s statements arrived two days after the meeting between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during which the crisis in Syria was discussed. The leaders issued a joint statement in which they expressed an agreement to expand the ceasefire along the Syria-Lebanon-Israel borders. Israeli officials voiced their concerns about the agreement, which may clear the path for Iranian presence near the border with Israel.

As previously reported by JOL, the tensions along the Israel-Syria border were high this week after a UAV was downed by a Patriot system after it approached Israel’s airspace. "The State of Israel views with great severity any violation of sovereignty and will respond with force to any provocation," said Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman in response to the incident. "We consider the Syrian regime responsible for every shooting and violation of sovereignty and call on it to restrain all elements operating from its territory."


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