Tactical Talk (Update) Russia’s great comeback in the Middle East has made Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a regular visitor to the Kremlin. World Cup semifinals or not, almost nobody disputes that the ties between Jerusalem and Moscow have grown much closer due to the regional circumstances.
But Netanyahu’s latest visit was different, because the moment of truth is approaching. Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump are about to meet, and the Americans will have to clarify their position – and set explicit conditions – on Russia’s goal of once again crowning Bashar Assad as Syria’s ruler and stabilizing his regime.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russia on Wednesday that Israel would not seek to topple its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but Moscow should encourage Iranian forces to quit Syria, a senior Israeli official told Reuters.
Netanyahu conveyed the message in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the official said, just hours after Israel shot down what it described as a Syrian drone that had penetrated its airspace, underscoring the frontier’s volatility.