Israel ‘not ruling out’ eventual ties with Syria’s Assad | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Israel ‘not ruling out’ eventual ties with Syria’s Assad

Israel held out the prospect on Tuesday of eventual contacts with Syria under President Bashar al-Assad, in a nod to his regime-consolidating advances in a seven-year-old civil war that Israeli officials had initially predicted would topple him.

Assad’s Russia-backed forces have advanced in southwest Syria and are on course to reach Quneitra, a rebel-held district abutting the Golan Heights frontier with Israel. That has stirred Israeli concern that he may try to deploy troops there in defiance of a 1974 UN demilitarisation accord on the Golan.

Touring the Israeli-occupied Golan, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman ramped up threats to use armed force should Damascus encroach militarily. “Any Syrian soldier who will be in the buffer zone risks his life,” Lieberman told reporters.

However, Lieberman appeared to signal acknowledgment that Assad would regain control of the Syrian side of the Golan.

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