Recent evidence showed a growing deployment of Russian forces in Syria, which Israel fears would trickle to Hezbollah and other militant organizations, according to a statement issued last week by the Israeli prime minister’s office.
Meanwhile, Russian Federation maintains close relations with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and his regime, and provides him with military and political support.
Mr Putin reassured Netanyahu that the Syrian army was in “no state to open a new front”.
“All of Russia’s actions in the region will always be very responsible”, Putin said.
Israel worries that top-of-the-line Russian military hardware being deployed in Syria could end up in Hezbollah’s arsenal.
Separately, US officials said Russian Federation had started flying surveillance missions with drone aircraft in Syria in what appeared to be Moscow’s first air operations there since beginning its build-up.
“As for Syria, we know and understand that the Syrian army and Syria on the whole is in a position when maintaining its own nationhood comes to the forefront, not opening a second front”, Putin said.
A second official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the figure, and added there were about 20 Russian combat and transport helicopters at the base.
Most of that comes from the Islamic State, which has taken over large swathes of land in Syria and is fighting against both rebels groups and the Syrian regime, which makes it hard to keep track of, who is on your side and who is against you in the civil war.
“It is pretty clear that Putin is not looking for a fight with Israel”, Netanyahu’s former adviser said.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the IDF and Russian military will set up a joint working group to coordinate their Syria-related activities in the aerial, naval, and electromagnetic arenas.
Netanyahu, in a phone briefing with Israeli diplomatic reporters, said that the meeting was devoted to the complicated situation on Israel’s northern border.
“So I think he has actually a limited window of a couple of years to continue provocative actions in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Syria, Georgia and so forth, and we have to be very careful during this time, when he could actually lash out and be even more risky than he has been”, Petraeus said.