Russia, however, has condemned the Syrian resistance in the aftermath of an alleged attack on the Russian Embassy in Damascus.
“I think that what Vladimir Putin would like to do is resurrect the Russian empire”, Petraeus, who commanded USA forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. But few doubt Netanyahu’s conversation was about the dramatic build-up of Russian forces in Syria and Putin’s plans for the beleaguered country and its president, Bashar Al-Assad.
Syria “may be preparing to receive Russian forces”, Munks said.
“The Syrian army has received from Moscow at least five fighters and reconnaissance aircraft to help identify targets with great precision and sophisticated combat equipment to combat ISIS”, said a U.S. official on condition of anonymity to AFP.
Putin in turn acknowledged Israel’s concerns, and gave verbal assurances, saying: “Our main goal is to defend the Syrian state”.
Netanyahu told Putin that Russian Federation needed to know that Israel would take action to prevent these weapons transfers and thus it was important to make sure there were no misunderstandings between their military forces.
But in the past week, US officials have confirmed reports that the Russian military has sent warplanes, helicopters, tanks, artillery guns, armored personnel carriers and 200 marines to an airfield near Mr Assad’s ancestral home in Latakia province.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said over the weekend the United States welcomed Russia’s involvement in tackling Islamic State militants in Syria. But he said the U.S.is ready to engage in an immediate dialogue with Russian Federation to promote a peace agreement that would see Assad removed from power.
It has increased its supply of arms to the Syrian army and increased its military presence inside Syria, drawing warnings from Western nations – which oppose Assad – that this is destabilizing the situation further.
“As regards Syria, we call for a renewed UN-led worldwide effort to bring an end to the war that has caused so much suffering and forced an estimated 12 million people to leave their homes”, the summit statement said.
Petraeus said, however, that the US should not allow Moscow to push America into a partnership with Russian Federation and the Iran-backed Assad to battle IS.