Israeli, Russian Pilots to Carry Out Joint Exercise
Russian and Israeli Air Force pilots will begin carrying out joint training exercises, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry revealed, Maariv reported on Thursday.
Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said the purpose of the exercise is to prevent accidental clashes between Russian and Israeli planes over Syria.
This announcement comes in the wake of increased Russian military involvement in the Syrian civil war, with the Russian military carrying out strikes against opposition forces, including Al-Nusra Front and ISIS, on behalf of Moscow’s ally and client, President Bashar Al-Assad.
The joint training exercises are presumably part of the mechanism — agreed upon by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Moscow last month — aimed at avoiding unwitting clashes between IDF and Russian forces operating in Syria.
During the meeting, Netanyahu stressed that Israel would continue its operations in Syria, to prevent game-changing weapons from falling into the hands of Iran’s proxies operating there.