Report: Israel, Russia Coordinating Military Activity Over Syria, Golan Heights
by David Daoud
The Russian military and Israel Defense Forces are coordinating activities on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, the pro-Western Lebanese daily An-Nahar reported on Tuesday.
The report said this coordination has “reached a very advanced level,” noting that Moscow’s airstrikes near the Israeli border with Syria are the first of their kind since the 1970’s, and possibly the first such operations in the region not hostile to the Jewish state.
This directly contradicts a report in Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency on Tuesday, according to which Russia’s military activity near Syria’s border with Israel constituted a warning to Israel — not coordination.
Determining the veracity of the conflicting reports is relevant in the context of recent meetings held in Moscow between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin — along with senior military officials from both countries — during which the Israeli delegation told its Russian counterparts not to intervene in the event of IDF operations in Syria against Hezbollah or retaliation for fire from regime or rebel forces.
Israel has said that Russia agreed, and that military coordination between them was necessary in order to avoid unwitting aerial clashes.