Despite tensions, Russia seeks US help to rebuild Syria

UN peacekeepers return after 4 years to Israel-occupied Golan Heights near Syria
Israel says Assad back in charge, Syrian front likely to be quieter

04 August, 2018

The area, peaceful for decades since the agreement, became a fighting ground at the height of the Syrian civil war, finally pushing the United Nations peacekeeping force out in 2014 after al-Qaida militants kidnapped 45 United Nations peacekeepers.

Tensions escalated in February this year, when Israel launched an air raid after intercepting what it claimed was an Iranian drone crossing into Israeli airspace.

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

When the situation stabilizes, Rudskoy said, the Russian-manned posts would be handed over to Syrian government forces.

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.

Iranian forces have withdrawn their heavy weapons in Syria to a distance of 85 km (53 miles) from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, TASS quoted a Russian envoy as saying on Wednesday, but Israel deemed the pullback inadequate.

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He declined to say specifically where they were located, but said it was in the southern Golan, near the Jordanian border.

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

Israel reported seven ISIS killed on their border, and that the ISIS were just 200 meters from the Israeli-occupied side of Golan. An initial assessment by Israel's military identified the gunmen as Islamic State militants, in what would mark a rare attempt by the Islamist militants to infiltrate Israel.

"The IDF remains, on high readiness, and levels of alert for any threats - be it in the air or on the ground - and we of course remain committed to defend Israeli citizens and Israeli sovereignty", Conricus told journalists. The army's announcement came shortly after Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman toured a Patriot missile defense battery in northern Israel during a military preparedness drill.

The fighters had been detected by Israeli surveillance well before they crossed and the...

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