(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel doesn’t object to the stabilization of President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime in Syria, but would defend its borders against any actions by his military, according to Haaretz newspaper.

Netanyahu, who traveled to Russia on Wednesday to meet with President Vladimir Putin, said Israel has not and will not intervene in the Syrian civil war, Haaretz reported. The paper cited remarks made by the prime minister at a media briefing in Moscow. Pointing to the presence in Syria of Islamic State militants and fighters from Iran-backed Hezbollah, however, Netanyahu said Israel reserved the right to act against threats.

Israel has already carried out numerous strikes against Iranian targets in Syria and arms convoys bound for Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside Assad’s forces. Before leaving Israel, Netanyahu said he’d press Putin, whose military intervention in Syria swung the war in Assad’s favor, to eject Iranian forces from Syrian territory.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alisa Odenheimer in Jerusalem at aodenheimer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net, Mark Williams, Amy Teibel

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