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December 12, 2018 4:09 pm

IDF Says It Will Continue to Act in Syria to Prevent Iranian Entrenchment and Arming of Hezbollah

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Israeli and Russian military officials meet in Moscow. Photo: IDF Twitter account.

An IDF delegation returned home on Wednesday following a one-day visit to Moscow for meetings with Russian military officials.

According to the Israeli military, the group of senior officers — led by Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, the head of the Operations Directorate — briefed their Russian counterparts on the IDF’s ongoing effort to detect and destroy tunnels dug by Hezbollah under the Lebanon border.

Furthermore, the IDF said a “central topic that was discussed was the improvement of the two militaries’ deconfliction system in the northern region.”

“The IDF will continue operating to prevent Iranian entrenchment and the arming of Hezbollah in Syria,” the Israeli military said on Twitter. “The delegations reached an understanding and agreed to continue in their joint work.”

Following a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin last weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told members of his cabinet he had informed Putin that “we are continuing our policy — we will not allow Iran to establish a military presence in Syria.”

“We will continue to take action against the precision weapons in Lebanon, and we will complete the operation to foil the tunnels threat,” Netanyahu added.

Relations between Jerusalem and Moscow have been clouded in recent months by a mid-September incident in which a Russian military plane was accidentally downed by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile over the Mediterranean Sea, near Latakia. Russia charged that Israel had indirectly caused the mishap by not providing enough advance warning of an IAF operation that was taking place in the area at the time.

Israel and Russia have sought to avoid such occurrences since Moscow’s military intervention in Syria on behalf of the Assad regime began in 2015.

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