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Israel Launches Strike on ISIS Forces in Syria

Israeli soldiers walk past vehicles of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force near the town of Majdal Shams on the Golan Heights

Israel and Jordan said on Thursday that their forces had killed Islamic State insurgents who approached their borders after being squeezed out of southwestern Syria by the army of President Bashar al-Assad.

The escalation of hostilities is justified by Israel by the presence of Iran-linked troops in south-western Syria which, Israeli officials say, pose a threat to the national security of the Jewish state.

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.

Isreali soldiers patrol the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria, as seen from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, July 26, 2018.

In Moscow, the Russian Defence Ministry said its deployment of military police on the Syrian-held Golan was aimed at supporting a decades-old United Nations peacekeeper presence.

The incident took place in the southern part of the Golan Heights, where a demilitarized buffer zone was established between Israel and Syria. "I think this is also in Assad's interest". He added several vests, weapons and grenades were found around them.

Syrian soldiers arrive to Syria’s Quneitra border crossing between Syria and the Golan Heights
Syrian soldiers arrive to Syria’s Quneitra border crossing between Syria and the Golan Heights

Since September 2015, Russia has been supporting the Syrian army with its combat aviation in the fight against terrorist groups, while the Russian Reconciliation Center organizes truce and amnesty processes, as well as demine Syrian cities.

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.

The deployment of the Russian military police highlights the degree to which the Kremlin has become an influential actor in Middle East conflicts since its military intervention in Syria which turned the tide of the war in Assad's favor.

The new Russian posts would be handed over to the Syrian government once the situation stabilized, the ministry said.

It has also pledged to prevent its arch foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria and a series of recent strikes that have killed Iranians in Syria have been attributed to Israel. 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.