Islamic State terrorists parade in Raqqa, Syria, in 2014. (AP) (AP)
Syria Islamic State

“We operate in Syria from time to time to prevent it from becoming a second terror front against us,” Netanyahu said, citing the need to protect Israel’s borders.

Israel operates inside Syria “from time to time” to prevent sophisticated weapons from reaching its enemies in Lebanon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, in the strongest admission yet of his country’s involvement in the civil war between President Bashar al-Assad and rebel forces, including the Islamic State and other terrorist groups. More than 250,00 people have been killed in the violence over the past four and a half years.

Israel is widely thought to have carried out a number of airstrikes in Syria that have targeted advanced weapons systems, including Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles and Iranian-made missiles, believed to be destined for the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah terrorist group.

Israel battled Hezbollah in the Second Lebanon War in 2006, and Israeli leaders have repeatedly said it would not let the group obtain “game-changing” weapons. However, they have largely remained mum on specific strikes.

“We operate in Syria from time to time to prevent it from becoming a front against us, a second terror front against us,” Netanyahu said at a conference in the northern Israeli city of Acre Tuesday.

“We are also acting, of course, to prevent the transfer of deadly weapons from Syria to Lebanon in particular, and we will continue to do so,” he said.

Netanyahu’s remarks come as Israel and Russia have established a mechanism meant to coordinate between their air forces in Syria. Russia recently began carrying out airstrikes there to help Assad in his battle against Islamic terrorists.

Israel has otherwise largely remained on the sidelines of the war, though it has returned fire when rockets or mortar shells have strayed into Israeli territory.

By: AP and United with Israel Staff

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