Israeli military says it shot down a Syrian drone

Israeli soldiers at an army base in the Golan Heights look out across the border with Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Russia Wednesday to meet with Kremlin President Vladimir Putin, for visit he called a "very important".

The Israeli military said on Wednesday that it had shot down a drone from Syria that had entered its airspace.

Israel has been on high alert recently as Syrian rebels have advanced on the Golan area.

In the heaviest Israeli firing since the start of the Syrian War, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the strikes killed at least 23 military personnel, including Syrians and non-Syrians.

The Russian defense ministry said back then that the Israel Defense Forces had fired more than 70 missiles at Syria's territory under the pretext of shelling of its positions in the Golan Heights.

"Several hours ago a Syrian UAV penetrated Israel's airspace", the prime minister continued.

In their Moscow meeting Netanyahu and Putin were to discuss Syria.

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The Golan Heights was captured by Israel amid war in 1967 and illegally annexed in 1981.

"We won't take action against the Assad regime, and you get the Iranians out", the official, who requested anonymity, quoted Netanyahu as telling Putin during a meeting in Moscow.

He added that Israel expects Syria to strictly observe a 1974 deal that set out a demilitarized zone along their frontier and limited the number of forces each side can deploy within 25 kilometers (15 miles) of the zone.

Israel will not dismiss the possibility of future relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday. Netanyahu travelled to Moscow on Wednesday for talks with President Vladimir Putin, who in the past has turned a blind eye to Israeli strikes on Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria while making clear Russian Federation does not want Assad's rule endangered.

"We chose to bring with us two wonderful children who are bravely fighting cancer: Mika, whom my wife and I have known for nine years, and Alon, whose parents emigrated from Russian Federation and who likes soccer very much".

Both the United States and Israel are concerned about Iran's growing military presence in Syria, where it has provided crucial aid to Assad's forces.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Israeli army said the downed drone may have been on an intelligence mission.

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