Israeli PM says to continue military operation in Syria

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-14 01:48:59|Editor: Zhou Xin
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Israeli rescue teams, doctors, hospital staff and soldiers take part in a defense drill simulating the response to a chemical attack at Rivka Ziv Medical Center in Safed, Israel, on Nov. 13, 2017. (Xinhua/JINI/Ayal Margolin)

JERUSALEM, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday he has informed the United States and Russia that Israel would continue to carry out military operations in Syria.

Speaking during a weekly meeting of his right-wing Likud party in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said that Israel is "controlling our borders, we are protecting our country and we will continue to do so."

"I have made it clear to our friends, firstly in Washington and then also in Moscow, that Israel will take actions in Syria, including in southern Syria, according to our understanding and our security needs," he said.

Netanyahu's words come two days after a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which they agreed to expand the July 7 ceasefire in the southwestern triangle bordering Israel and Jordan.

Netanyahu has been urging Putin and Trump not to allow Iran and its proxy Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite militia, to establish permanent bases in Syria.

Israel and Syria share a disputed border in the Golan Heights, a territory that Israel seized from Syria in the 1976 Middle East War and annexed it later.

Israel has been carrying out occasional airstrikes against Syrian army positions, usually in response to errant fire from the war between the Bashar Assad regime and rebel groups.