Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu traveled to Moscow on Wednesday to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and discuss military coordination in Syria.
Israel fears that Iranian forces operating in Syria, along with tens of thousands of Iranian-backed Shiite militiamen, will carry out attacks against Israel once the civil war winds down in that country.
Russia has also sent forces to Syria to back the Assad regime. But Israel and Russia have maintained close communications to prevent their air forces from coming into conflict.
Together with Putin, Netanyahu toured a parade celebrating the anniversary of the World War II victory over the Nazis and then met the Russian president at the Kremlin for consultations.
After 10 hours together, Netanyahu said he conveyed Israel’s obligation to defend itself against Iranian aggression.
“I think that matters were presented in a direct and forthright manner, and this is important. These matters are very important to Israel’s security at all times and especially at this time,” he said.
Netanyahu also said: I’ve just finished my meeting with Putin. the first part of the day, the military parade was a grand sight. It had historical value because this is the first time that any Israeli Prime Minister took part in this parade. Putin also mentioned Holocaust survivors for the first time. This is a great sense of pride for Israel and will only serve to increase communication between our two countries.”