Israel strike kills seven near fence in Golan

04 August, 2018, 09:57 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • UN peacekeepers return after 4 years to Israel-occupied Golan Heights near Syria

The Israeli Defense Forces said it launched an airstrike on Wednesday night, killing seven terrorists from the Islamic State who had infiltrated Israeli territory in the Golan Heights along the Syrian border.

On Thursday, Moscow said Russian Federation would deploy its military police on the Golan Heights frontier between Syria and Israel, after weeks of mounting volatility in the area.

But Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman sounded more upbeat on Thursday as he described an Assad win as a given.

Israel considers Iran's growing influence in Syria - it has advisers and allied militias fighting alongside Syrian troops- as an existential threat and had looked for guarantees from Moscow to push pro-Iran fighters away from its frontiers.

The U.N. peacekeeping forces first deployed along the frontier in 1974 following an agreement to separate Syrian and Israeli forces after Israel occupied the Golan Heights in the 1967 war.

But they entered a downward spiral in recent times when Israel intensified its bombing of military infrastructure in Syria.


Sergei Rudskoi, a senior Russian Defense Ministry official, said that Russian military police had on Thursday begun patrolling in the Golan Heights and planned to set up eight observation posts in the area.

"It did not seem as if they were fleeing, seeking refuge", Conricus said.

Israel has been lobbying the Kremlin to use its influence with Assad, and with Tehran, to try to get the Iranian military presence in Syria scaled back.

The peacekeeping mission was halted in 2014, over security concerns, amid the violence in Syria's civil war.

Also on Thursday morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a trip to Colombia scheduled for next week to attend the inauguration of the country's new president, Iván Duque, due to the volatile situation on Israel's borders. He said a preliminary assessment was that the infiltrators were Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.

Several reports claimed the air strikes were being carried out by "Israeli warplanes" or an "Israeli UAV or fighter jet", aiming at a site belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps in western Damascus. The Syrian government says Israeli attacks are helping only terrorists and that the only Iranian troops on the ground in Syria are advisers helping the Syrian Arab Army fight jihadists. Jonathan Conricus, said in a telephone briefing with reporters that he could not immediately comment on the deployment on the Syrian side of the border.

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