Israeli PM Netanyahu Flies to Moscow for Talks on Syria With Russian President Putin
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Moscow on Monday to discuss Israeli concerns about any expansion of Iran’s military foothold in Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I will discuss with President Putin Iran’s relentless efforts to establish a military presence in Syria, which we strongly oppose and are also taking action against,” said Netanyahu, without elaborating, before boarding a plane for the visit, scheduled to last several hours.
Netanyahu said he and Putin “meet periodically in order to ensure the military coordination between the Israel Defense Forces and the Russian forces in Syria.”
Russia intervened in the Syrian Civil War on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in 2015. Iranian forces, Hezbollah and other Shi’ite Muslim militias also back Assad.
Israel fears Iran could be left with a permanent garrison in Syria, extending a threat posed from neighboring Lebanon by Hezbollah, which has an extensive missile arsenal and last fought a war with the IDF in 2006.
Netanyahu said he also planned to discuss with Putin “Iran’s effort to turn Lebanon into one giant missile site, a site for precision missiles against the State of Israel, which we will not tolerate.”
Watch a video below of Netanyahu issuing a statement before departing for Moscow: