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Israel says Assad back in charge, Syria front likely to be quieter

Avigdor Lieberman,, Israel's Defence Minister [U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr/Flickr]

Israel’s defence minister described Syria’s return to its pre-civil war situation as a given on today, and predicted that the Israel-occupied Golan Heights frontier would be quieter with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s rule restored.

“From our perspective, the situation is returning to how it was before the civil war, meaning there is a real address, someone responsible, and central rule,” Avigdor Lieberman told reporters. Asked whether Israelis should be less wary of potential Golan flare-ups, Lieberman said: “I believe so.”

Al-Assad is seeking to recover the entire southwestern corner of Syria in an offensive that began last month and has so far recovered swathes of territory from opposition groups fighting under the Free Syrian Army (FSA) banner.

The Syrian president is already in his strongest position since the early days of the seven-year civil war that has killed half a million people. A successful assault on the southwest would leave insurgents seeking to overthrow Al-Assad largely confined to a single pocket of territory in the northwest of the country.

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