Netanyahu meets with Putin in Moscow

Leaders meet for three-hours on Syria regional threats on the Jewish state; Putin: Our main goal is to defend the Syrian state state

Netanyahu with Putin Monday (AP)

Netanyahu with Putin Monday (AP)

Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Monday to discuss Russia’s foreign policy in the Middle East, specifically Russian military deployment in Syria. Their meeting reportedly ran over three hours. He travelled to Russia with National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen, Military Secretary Brig. Gen. Eliezer Toledano and his media adviser, Boaz Stembler.

Netanyahu addressed Israel’s security concerns in relation to Russian interest and support in Syria stating that, “Over the last number of years, and even more so over the last few months, Iran and Syria are arming the radical Islamic terrorist organization Hezbollah with advanced weaponry that is directed at us, and has already been fired at us…. For these reasons I thought it was very important to come here, both in order to make clear our positions, and also to ensure that there will not be any misunderstandings between our forces.”

Specifically on Iran, Netanyahu stated, “Iran, under the auspices of the Syrian army, is trying to build a second terror front against us from the Golan. Our policy is to prevent these weapons transfers, and to prevent the formation of a terror front and attacks against us from the territory of the Golan. In these circumstances, I thought it was very important that I come here, both to clarify our policy and to make sure there are no misunderstandings between our forces.”

Israel has conducted several covert airstrikes over the past two years on attempted weapons transfers from Syria to Lebanon.

Russia insists that its military involvement in Syria is to combat ISIS as well as what Putin stated to Netanyahu as, “Our main goal is to defend Syria. ”Putin stated that he understands Netanyahu’s “concerns and I’m very happy you’ve come to discuss these issues in detail” stating that “all Russia’s actions in the region were always very responsible.

He stated, “We [Russia] are aware of the issue of bombardments of Israel and reject all such bombardments. To my knowledge, these bombardments are carried out by homemade systems… As for Syria, We know that the Syrian army and Syria as a whole are in such a state that they have no time for a second front. They need to save their own state. Our main goal is to defend the Syrian state. With that, I understand your concern, and I’m very happy you came here so we could discuss all these issues in detail

Russia has deployed a military team as and continues with deliveries for an air traffic control station in Latakia. Russia is reportedly constructing temporary housing units for over 1,000 military personnel and has already sent several fighter jets to Syria.