Following weekend meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed an agreement had been reached in which Israeli attacks on Syrian military targets could continue even as Russia provides military aid to the same forces.
Russia hasn’t commented on the matter, but Netanyahu said he told Putin “in no uncertain terms” that the attacks would continue, and that Israel has a “right and duty” to attack Syrian military sites that might be transferring arms to Hezbollah, one of Syria’s main allies in the ongoing civil war.
Netanyahu presented the whole matter as an Iranian plot to attack the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israel has been regularly attacking Syrian military targets throughout the civil war, at times claiming they were weapons transfers and at other times just denying comment entirely.
With increased numbers of Russian advisers in Syria, the risk is that Israel will accidentally kill some Russian troops and spark a new round of fighting that way, and talk of some military coordination is underway that would give Israel a “head’s up” if a target has Russians present before they blow it up.
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