Russia: UN peacekeepers back on Golan Heights-Syria frontier

Casey GreeneAug 04, 2018

Israel described the Syrian civil war as effectively over on Thursday and predicted that the Golan Heights frontier between the countries would be quieter with central rule by Damascus restored there.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the situation on the Syrian side of the boundary had returned to its pre-2011 state after Syrian government forces, supported by Russia's military, regained control of the region from armed opposition that controlled since 2014.

The Syrian government's sweep of southwest Syria drove hundreds of thousands of refugees towards Israel and Jordan, alarming both.

Unverified Syrian reports claimed that the air defense systems shot down an Israeli drone.

Russian military police also started patrolling the Golan Heights with United Nations peacekeepers, news agencies quoted Russia's Defense Ministry saying Thursday.

During their summit in Helsinki, Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump said they were exploring ways to protect Israel from the war in Syria. He reiterated Israel's demand that Iran not set up military bases against it in Syria, nor that Syria be used to smuggle arms to Hezbollah guerrillas in neighbouring Lebanon. They didn't elaborate but later Putin said he agreed with Trump on securing Israel's border with Syria in line with the 1974 deal.

A photo of what appears to be an AK-47 assault rifle and explosives found with seven Islamic State terrorists who entered Israel.

Israeli jets also reportedly targeted Iranian military assets stationed in the Arab republic, killing Iranian military personnel south of Damascus and sparking outrage from Tehran. He said a preliminary assessment was that the infiltrators were Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.

JAF stressed that it remains at the highest level of alert to deal with any terrorist groups, using necessary force and will not allow any to cross the borders of the Kingdom.

ISIL fighters have been staging attacks in southwestern Syria, as they face an offensive by troops loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

A Jordanian army source said the militants who fled from the border were then chased by the Syrian army conducting operations in the area to drive them out of their last hideouts.

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