Report: Netanyahu to Provide Putin With Intelligence in Exchange for Guarantees to Keep Iranian Proxies at Bay
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will offer Russian President Vladimir Putin high-quality intelligence on the situation in Syria, in exchange for Moscow’s agreeing to rein in Hezbollah and Iran, Al Arabiya reported on Monday.
The report also says that Netanyahu will extract guarantees that Moscow will not intervene if and when Israel launches strikes on Syrian targets or responds to attacks from across the Syrian border.
The report quotes Israeli sources claiming that Netanyahu — who was accompanied to Moscow by Israel’s Chief of General Staff and head of military intelligence — is carrying a detailed file that discloses repeated attempts on the part of the Assad regime in Syria to smuggle strategic Russian weapons to Hezbollah, and shows Israel’s attempts to militarily interdict those weapons.
One key concern in Jerusalem is that advanced Russian weapons making their way into the hands of Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, could reopen a front on the Golan Heights. Another concern has been the potential for mistaken clashes between Israeli and Russian military forces operating in Syria.
An nrg report on the Netanyahu-Putin meeting quotes a Russia expert asserting that Putin has a deep interest in recruiting Israel to his effort to cobble together a regional coalition to combat the spread of ISIS.
Professor Baruch Gur-Gurevich from the University of Haifa said, “The background for the meeting is a large military and political initiative by Putin to restabilize Syria and Iraq, as part of maintaining the integrity of these two countries.”
According to Gur-Gurevich, “We are talking about an initiative that has already been totally agreed upon by the Americans and the Europeans… [Putin] has already spoken to the Saudis and enlisted their help on the matter; he has spoken to the Jordanians; now Israel’s turn has come; and Iran will also be in on it.”