Netanyahu: Israel Aims to Avoid Conflicts with Russia in Mideast

Mon Sep 21, 2015 21:18:21

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks to avoid potential clashes with Russian army troops in the Middle East amid reports that Russia may be considering boots on the ground in Syria.

In a Monday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Netanyahu said his talks with the Russian leader were aimed at preventing clashes between Israeli and Russian military forces in Syria, where Moscow may deploy troops in case of a request by the Syrian government. Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations that it has troops in Syria.

“I am here because of the complicated security situation, it is becoming more and more complicated," Netanyahu said during the meeting.

Russia has announced that it is ready to consider any request from the Syrian government for the dispatch of military forces to the Arab country, which is involved in heavy battles against foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants. Moscow has stressed that it will continue to support Damascus against terrorism.

Israel has expressed concern that Russia’s deployment of air and ground forces in Syria may lead to accidental trade of fire as Tel Aviv sporadically targets fighters of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah inside Syria. Hezbollah has been helping Damascus in its fight against the militants.

During the meeting, Putin tried to soothe Israeli concerns on Russia’s deployment of troops, saying Moscow will act responsibly in its decisions in the Middle East.

“… all of Russia’s actions in the region will always be responsible,” Russia’s Tass news agency quoted Putin as saying.

The Russian leader also dismissed Netanyahu’s allegations of a potential Syrian offensive against Israeli forces in the occupied Golan Heights, calling them unfounded. He said the Syrian army “has no time for a second front,” as it is busy fighting militants across the country.

Reports over the past four years have shown that Israel has provided support for militants fighting the Syrian government; Press TV reported.

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