Putin Urges Netanyahu to Avoid Actions That Destabilize Syria's Sovereignty

Posted April 13, 2018

The statement by Netanyahu comes just days after Israel purportedly carried out an airstrike against a Syrian military base where Iran is also operating.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during an event marking International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, January 29, 2018.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Wednesday, and the Russian leader urged Israel not to take action in Syria and to threaten its security.

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The T-4 base had already been targeted by Israeli air raids in February, in retaliation for a drone sent to its territory by Iran.

The conversation was initiated by the Israeli side, said the statement. The attack came after reports that Syria used chemical weapons in an attack on civilians.

Netanyahu told Putin that Israel would press a campaign to prevent Iran's military entrenchment in Syria, his office said. The two leaders discussed the situation in Syria. Tel Aviv views Hizballah, an Iranian-backed regime ally, as its biggest threat and has grown alarmed over Tehran's growing clout in Syria.

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According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria.

Israel has said repeatedly that it can not tolerate an extended Iranian presence in Syria and reportedly has launched air raids to keep Iran from delivering weapons to Hezbollah.

Netanyahu and President Donald Trump reportedly also had a tense exchange last week regarding Syria after Trump pledged to wind down USA involvement in the country.

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