Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel does not object to Assad re-exerting control of Syria and stabilizing his regime, but “will act to protect its borders against the Syrian military – as it has in the past.”
Speaking in Moscow after his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu defined Israel’s main goals in dealing with Russia now as removing the missiles aimed at it from Syria, the withdrawal of Iranian forces and the preservation of the 1974 disengagement agreements with Syria on the Golan.
In addition, Israel wants Russia to ensure that Syrians living on the Golan near the border, who received humanitarian aid from Israel in recent years, will not be harmed. “I have set a clear policy that we do not intervene [in the Syrian civil conflict] and we have not intervened. This has not changed. What has troubled us is ISIS and Hezbollah and this has not changed,” he said. “The heart of the matter is preserving our freedom of action against anyone who acts against us. Second, the removal of the Iranians from Syrian territory.” Ahead of the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, the prime minister stressed that he is fully coordinated with Washington. “We act with full transparency with the United States.”