The Israeli Defense Minister and the Chief of Military Intelligence were invited to meet in Moscow.
PM Netanyahu with Russian President Putin Photo Credit: The Kremlin: Office of the President
The Israeli-Russian military cooperation has tightened due to recent events in Syria and the Israeli need to prevent Iranian entrenchment along the Syrian border. Most of the military-to-military dialogue was conducted in secrecy, though it is now reported that Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu called Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and invited him and Israeli Chief of Military Intelligence Gen. Herzi Levi to meet in Moscow.
The information was relayed to Hadashot by a senior Israeli source and according to his report, Israeli and Russian officials have established several ways of operation in Syria. The mutual understandings include the presence of Assad forces in southern Syria and along Israeli-Syrian border and in return, the Russians will commit to the evacuation of Iranian and Hezbollah forces from the border area. Russia will also publicly call for a total evacuation of foreign forces from Syria, which includes US and Turkish forces. The senior source said that “Assad was and is still a monster that slaughters his own people, but this is the international community and the Arab states’ issue. We cannot fix the world. Israel has to worry about its own security.”
It is also expected that Israel will demand a significant freedom of operation in Syrian airspace from the Russians, which the Iranians will probably object. The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office has commented on the publication, saying, “Israel is not interested in partial agreements but in the entire evacuation of the Iranian military from Syria.”