Israel and Russia have agreed to coordinate military actions over Syria in order to avoid accidentally trading fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a visit to Moscow.
Recent Russian reinforcements for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which regional sources say include warplanes and anti-aircraft systems, worry Israel, whose jets have on occasion bombed the neighbouring Arab country to foil suspected handovers of advanced arms to Assad’s Lebanese ally Hezbollah.
Briefing Israeli reporters after he met Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, Netanyahu said he had come with the goal of “prevent[ing] misunderstandings between IDF [Israeli army] units and Russian forces” in Syria, where Assad is fighting rebels in a civil war.
Netanyahu added that he and Putin “agreed on a mechanism to prevent such misunderstandings”. He did not elaborate. There was no immediate comment from the Kremlin. In earlier remarks as he welcomed Netanyahu to the presidential residence of Novo-Ogaryovo, outside Moscow, Putin said Russian actions in the Middle East would always be “responsible”.