Netanyahu, Putin agree to increased Syria cooperation

In a phone call between the two leaders, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed Israel’s interest in preventing Iran from establishing a presence in Syria.

By JNS.org

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Friday to increase cooperation between their two countries in Syria amid the announced withdrawal of U.S. troops from there.

In a phone call on Friday, Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s position regarding Iran’s presence in Syria, according to the prime minister’s office.

“To that end, the parties reaffirmed their mutual determination to strengthen coordination through military and diplomatic channels,” the Kremlin said according to the state-run TASS news service.

Additionally, “Netanyahu congratulated President Putin and the Russian people on the occasion of the civil new year and expressed his condolences over the disaster in Magnitogorsk,” according to the prime minister’s office.

Ties between Israel and Russia have seen ups and downs since the country entered into the Syrian civil war in 2015.

While the two countries have coordinated their separate military efforts in the country in order to avoid accidental conflict, such as the incident last September following an Israeli airstrike when Syrian anti-aircraft fire downed a Russian aircraft, killing 14 crew members, tensions between Russia and Israel have not completely abated.

Israel wants Russia to do more to crackdown on Iran’s buildup in Syria, as well as address its ties to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.