ISRAEL TO RUSSIA: ASSAD’S SAFE FROM US, BUT IRAN MUST QUIT SYRIA:

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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu told Russia on Wed. 11 July 2018 that its ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be safe from Israel, but Moscow must ensure that Iranian forces quit Syria, a senior Israeli official said. The message, which the official said Netanyahu conveyed in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, came just hours after Israel shot down a Syrian drone that had penetrated its airspace, underscoring the frontier's volatility. Israel has been on high alert as Assad's forces advance on rebels in the vicinity of the Golan Heights, much of which Israel captured from Syria in 1967. Israel worries Assad could let his Iranian and Hezbollah reinforcements entrench near Israeli lines or that Syrian forces may defy a 1974 Golan demilitarization. "They (Russia) have an active interest in seeing a stable Assad regime and we in getting the Iranians out. These can clash or it can align," the Israeli official said. Israel’s willingness to leave Assad in power echoes the USA position. (Ynet)

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