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Israel PM visits Russian Federation over army buildup in Syria
The Kremlin has said the heads of state would discuss “the relevant issues of bilateral cooperation and worldwide agenda” during their meeting at Putin’s residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, near Moscow.
The USA, which along with its allies has been flying missions against Islamic State insurgents in Syria, has also been holding so-called “deconfliction” talks with Russian Federation.
In a latest supply to arms to Syria, Moscow has delivered new arms including warplanes to the country as the regime increases attacks on insurgents, in a sign that Russian Federation growing support for its ally is having an effect in the region.
The officials said 12 fighter jets and 12 close support aircraft had arrived in recent days at a Syrian air base in Latakia, where four jets were stationed last week. Gadi Eisenkot and General Valery Vasilevich Gerasimov -who also met yesterday, agreed that a mechanism would be established which Netanyahu said would “avoid any misunderstandings between our forces” in the future.
Russia’s military buildup in Syria appears to be limited to protecting its own forces in the country, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday. Russian Federation has been focusing forces on Syria’s coast, where Moscow keeps a big Mediterranean naval base.
The trip was prompted by the Russian military build-up in Syria.
Two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was not immediately clear how many Russian drone aircraft were operating or the scope of their missions.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes the emerging terms of a deal with Iran fail to take Israel’s security concerns into account.
Israel worries that top-of-the-line Russian military hardware being deployed in Syria could end up in Hezbollah’s arsenal.
“Israel has no intention of giving up its freedom to operate in Syria and will not allow the transfer of developed weapons to [Lebanese Shia militia] Hezbollah”, Ya’alon was quoted as saying by Israeli Radio.
Israel has a longstanding concern about what it calls “game-changing weapons” getting into the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is fighting alongside the Syrian government in the war. Russia, however, has condemned the Syrian resistance in the aftermath of an alleged attack on the Russian Embassy in Damascus.
Netanyahu said Iran and Syria were “trying to set up a second terrorist front on the Golan Heights”, a Syrian plateau which was mostly captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.