Israel & Russia: Syria Conflict
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow Tells President Putin Israel Will Continue Hitting Iran in Syria
2-27-19, Times of Israel -- Israel and Russia have been at odds since September, 2018 when Syrian air defenses shot down a Russian reconnaissance plane while targeting at an Israeli jet that was targeting an Iranian installation. At first Moscow blamed the incident on Israel and threatened to hamper Israel’s air campaign against Iranian entrenchment in Syria. Later, however, Pres Putin agreed it was the worst case of friendly fire for Russia in the Syrian war.
President Putin welcomed the Netanyahu’s saying: “It is very important that we continue to cooperate. Russia was a supporter of the establishment of Israel. We are happy to talk about the situation in the region and the security issue.” PM Netanyahu has credited Russia with Israel's successful defense system against Iran in Syria. Moscow has said it will keep Iran from the Israeli border, but it cannot push Iranian forces out of the country.
PM Netanyahu invited Pres Putin to Jerusalem to attend the unveiling of a monument in honor of Soviet soldiers who died during the siege of Leningrad [currently named St Petersburg] in World War II. Earlier this year, the world marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the Leningrad siege, which lasted from September 1941 to January 1944. Hundreds of thousands of Russians died during the blockade by Nazi Germany, most of them from starvation. Netanyahu said: “We will never forget the role Russia and the Red Army played in the victory over the Nazis.” He also announced that Israel has plans to fund a new museum dedicated to the half million Jewish World War II veterans who fought in the Red Army. Pres Putin immediately accepted the invitation, noting that the memory of the soldiers who died at Leningrad was “sacred.”
Before departing Moscow, Netanyahu said he hoped to deepen the “important, close and even intimate dialogue with the president of Russia, which is so important for the security of Israel.”
After the September spy plane incident, Russia dispatched advanced S-300 air defense batteries to Syria, raising concerns they could be used against Israeli planes; they have not. More here
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