In a phone call on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the current situation in Syria. Moscow urged Israel to avoid carrying out any action that would “further destabilize the situation.” In response, Netanyahu reiterated that Israel will not allow Iran to establish a military presence in Syria.

Netanyahu and Putin (archive)

Netanyahu and Putin (archive) Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on Wednesday night in a phone call initiated by Israel. During their conversation, Putin urged Netanyahu to refrain from carrying out activity in Syria.

In a statement after the call, the Kremlin said Putin “emphasized the importance of respecting Syria’s sovereignty,” and called on Netanyahu to avoid any action “that could further destabilize the situation” in Syria. In response, the Israeli prime minister stressed that Israel would continue to enforce its policy so as prevent Iran from establishing a military presence in Syria.

“In light of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is observed on April 12, both leaders unambiguously declared again that attempts to distort history and revise the results of World War Two are unacceptable,” the Kremlin continued. “In this context, Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out that Israel will officially celebrate Victory Day on May 9 this year for the first time.”

The leaders’ call comes after Russia claimed that Israeli fighter jets carried out a strike on the T-4 airbase in Syria that resulted in the reported death of 14 people, among them seven Iranian nationals. While Jerusalem remained silent about the attack, two US officials told reporters that Israel updated Washington about a plan to attack the airbase. While not directly confirming the reports, Netanyahu on Monday clarified that Israel would always take preemptive action against anyone who attempts to harm it.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Security Cabinet convened on Wednesday to discuss Israel’s policy towards Moscow amid global tensions surrounding Syria. During the discussions, cabinet members reportedly agreed that Israel will continue to prevent Iranian establishment in the war torn-country and would avoid getting dragged into potential escalations between Russian-backed Bashar al-Assad and the West.