Israel says it hits Syrian army posts after drone incursion

Israel attacked Syrian army positions on Thursday near the Golan Heights frontier, where pro-government forces fighting insurgents in the south of the country have marched towards the border, Reuters reports.

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, briefing Israeli reporters during a visit to Moscow, signalled that Israel would not act against President Bashar al-Assad in his efforts to regain control in Syria, while working to ensure Iranian forces who support him quit the country.

"We never had a problem with the Assad regime. For forty years, not one bullet was fired on the Golan Heights," a reporter for Israel's Haaretz newspaper quoted Netanyahu as saying.

"The heart of the matter is retaining our freedom of action against anyone who acts against us, and the removal of the Iranians from Syrian territory," Netanyahu said, a day after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Israeli military said it had hit three targets in retaliation for the incursion of a Syrian drone which it shot down over its air space hours earlier.

"The IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) holds the Syrian regime accountable for the actions carried out in its territory and warns it from further action against Israeli forces," it said in a statement.

Israel issued black-and-white surveillance footage that showed missiles hitting what appeared to be a hut, a two-storey structure and a five-storey structure in hilly terrain.