AKIPRESS.COM - Israel will prevent Iran from establishing a military presence in Syria, and will continue to intervene to stop Iran arming Hezbollah and other Shiite militias there, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, on Thursday in Jerusalem, reports The Times of Israel.
Moscow is a staunch supporter of Basher Assad’s regime and has also maintained close ties with Iran. But in recent months the government of President Vladimir Putin has increased military cooperation with Jerusalem to prevent the Russian and Israeli militaries from clashing over Syrian skies.
“Israel, Russia, the United States and many other countries share the objective of defeating the Islamic State,” Netanyahu said in the Prime Minister’s Office. “At the same time, we are also concerned by the second actor promoting radical Islam – Iran – which champions the destruction of Israel and also supports 360-degree terror on five continents.”
Hence, Israel is determined to do two things, Netanyahu said: “First, prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons and second, to prevent Iran – in any situation that arises in Syria, with or without an agreement – from establishing itself militarily in Syria, on the ground, in the air or at sea. We are also determined to prevent it from bringing about the establishment of Shiite militias, which it is organizing, and of course, the arming of Hezbollah with dangerous weapons aimed at us.”
The prime minister thanked his Russian counterpart for the close security coordination – a so-called de-conflicting mechanism – aimed at preventing clashes between Israeli and Russian fighter jets from clashing over Syria, as Israel routinely enters the country’s airspace to prevent hostile actors from smuggling arms or planning attacks.