Netanyahu took along top Israeli generals for his talks with Putin, who is trying to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against an Islamist-led Syrian insurgency in its fifth year. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and his Russian counterpart Minister of Defense Sergei Shoygu spoke Friday to discuss how the nations can avoid any unintended conflicts between their forces.
The apparent increase in the flow of Russian arms and personnel to Syria has prompted speculation that the Kremlin may be preparing for direct military intervention on Assad’s side.
But Russia’s recent moves raise concerns for the Israeli government, which is anxious that advanced Russian weaponry could fall into the hands of militant groups such as Iran-backed Hezbollah, which also supports Mr Assad.
The situation in Syria is very complicated for those who support the current regime or the rebels fighting to overthrow the regime. “Israelis are concerned that some of the systems the Russians are putting in place would interfere with their ability to operate over Syrian airspace”.
The USA officials said it is still unclear exactly what the Russians intend to do militarily, but there is growing concern they could reshape and control much of the combat operations against ISIS in Syria.
As the journalist believes, Moscow activated its diplomatic game in an attempt to narrow the gap between Damascus and opposition, and created a real coalition to fight the Islamic State terrorists.
“We expect a clear position in regard of this terrorist act from all members of the global community, including regional parties”, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday.
The paper also adds that the visit reflects a “lack of faith in the ability or the intent of the United States to protect Israel’s security interests”.
Israeli aircraft have also bombed targets in Syria described as stockpiles or convoys of advanced weapons, including sophisticated Russian-made surface-to-air missiles thought to have been be destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The two leaders agreed on ways to prevent an unintended confrontation between Israel’s military and Russian forces deployed in Syria, Netanyahu told Israeli reporters after the talks, the Haaretz daily reported.
The Russians masked the transport of the military aircraft by flying them in behind transport aircraft, Martin reports, and the speed of the buildup has surprised the U.S. US leaders have said al-Assad must leave office after frequent attacks against civilians and the use of chemical weapons.