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October 19, 2017 11:37 am

Israeli PM Netanyahu Calls Russian President Putin to Discuss Syria Conflict Amid Rise in Tensions

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a September 2015 meeting in Moscow. Photo: – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday to discuss the conflict in Syria, just days after Israeli jets hit a Syrian anti-aircraft battery.

According to the Kremlin, Netanyahu initiated the phone conversation, with the leaders discussing “the Syrian settlement, the Iranian nuclear program, as well as the results of a recent referendum in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.”

Israeli Air Force jets on Monday bombed a Syrian anti-aircraft battery near Damascus after an Israeli plane flying over Lebanon had been fired at. The IDF said it had informed the Russians of its actions in real-time, in accordance with agreements between the two countries. Russia became involved in the Syrian Civil War starting in 2015 and has been a strong backer of the Syrian government, which is allied with Iran.

Following Monday’s incident, Iran on Wednesday warned Israel it will not tolerate violations of Syrian sovereignty.

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“It is not acceptable for the Zionist regime to violate Syria any time it wants,” Iran’s Gen. Mohammad Bagheri said during a visit to Damascus.

The call between Netanyahu and Putin also comes following a meeting between the two countries’ defense chiefs, Avigdor Lieberman and Sergey Shoigu, in Tel Aviv, where Lieberman conveyed Israel’s concern over Iran’s military buildup in Syria.

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