Israel and Russia agree to co-operate on foreign troop exit from Syria
Netanyahu says he and Putin agree on shared goal
Jerusalem — Israel and Russia will work together on securing an exit of foreign forces from Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says after visiting Moscow to oppose the Iranian presence in the country. As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad beats back an eight-year-old insurgency, Israel worries that his reinforcements from Iran and the Tehran-backed Lebanese militia Hezbollah will stay on to form a new front against it.
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes against suspected Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria. These operations have been largely ignored by Russia, which intervened militarily on Assad's behalf in 2015, turning the tide of the war. Netanyahu said that, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, he had made it “unequivocally clear” that such strikes would continue, with an Israeli-Russian military hotline continuing to prevent accidental clashes between the countries. “President Putin and I also agreed on a shared goal — the removal ...