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May 9, 2018 10:31 am

Netanyahu Heads to Moscow to Meet Putin in Escalating Tensions With Syria

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Moscow on Jan. 29, 2018. Photo: Kobi Gideon / GPO. – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left Israel for Moscow on Wednesday to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin as tensions between Israel and Russian-backed Syria continued to escalate.

The trip comes just hours after Israel reportedly bombed a Syrian military site linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards south of Damascus, approximately 29 miles from the Israeli border, and just a day after US President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, based on evidence received from Israel.

Nine pro-Iranian soldiers were reported killed in the strike in al-Kiswah, an industrial area home to an army base.

Israeli authorities, warning of “abnormal movements of Iranian forces in Syria, ordered the opening of all bomb shelters in Israel’s northern Golan Heights, though residents have been encouraged to go about their daily lives as normal.

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Netanyahu said the meeting would be about “ensuring ongoing military cooperation in Syria.”

“Our meetings are always important, and this one is especially so. Given what is happening now in Syria, it is important to ensure the continued security cooperation between the Russian army and the Israel Defense Forces,” he said.

Reports indicate that additional Israeli reservists have been called up, though the IDF spokesperson’s unit would not elaborate. Media reports have suggested the troops are from air defense, Home Front Command and intelligence units.

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