BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments in, and related to, Syria (all times local):
Israel’s prime minister has praised his country’s air force, shortly after Russia criticized an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria.
He also repeated his frequent pledge that Israel will not allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence in Syria, and that the U.S. withdrawal from Syria will have no effect on Israeli activities in the neighboring country.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony Wednesday for a new crop of Israeli Air Force pilots, Netanyahu did not directly comment on the alleged airstrike, but said Israel is continually acting against Iran “including these days.”
But he said the Israeli air force’s capabilities are unmatched, and can reach arenas “near and far, very far.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry says Moscow expects the Syrian government to take over the areas where the U.S. troops are currently deployed following their withdrawal.
The ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said at Wednesday’s briefing that the territories in eastern Syria should be handed over to the Syrian government in line with international law. She noted that Moscow is unaware of any details of the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, but added that the move would help peaceful settlement in Syria if implemented.
U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly announced the pullout from Syria last week, surprising allies and sparking the resignation of two of his top aides. The U.S. backed Kurdish-led forces in the oil-rich eastern Syria for four years, and its withdrawal will leave the area up for grabs.