July 11, 2018 / 7:12 PM / in 11 days

Netanyahu to Putin: remove Iran from Syria, Assad safe from Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russia on Wednesday that Israel does not intend to threaten Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s rule and asked Moscow to work to remove Iranian forces from Syria, an Israeli official said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia July 11, 2018. Yuri Kadobnov/Pool via REUTERS

“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.

Russia was already working to distance Iranian forces from areas of Syria near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and had proposed that they be kept 80 km (50 miles) away but this fell short of Israel’s demand for a full exit, the official said.

Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Catherine Evans

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