Israel to Voice Concerns about Russian Deployment in Syria

(Wall Street Journal) Joel Greenberg - Israel joined the U.S. in expressing concerns about Russia's military buildup in Syria ahead of a meeting in Moscow on Monday between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Once we understand exactly what Russia intends to do in the arena and exactly what it plans to move into it, whether infantry or air forces, or others...we'll know what needs to be done," Yossi Cohen, Netanyahu's national security adviser, told Israel Radio on Friday. Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concern that advanced Russian weapons supplied to Syria could end up in the hands of militant groups. In a major military escalation, Russia has moved jet fighters to a base in Syria for the first time, U.S. defense officials said on Friday. Israel is worried the positioning of Russian fighter jets and surface-to-air missiles in Syria could lead to inadvertent confrontations with its own missions over Lebanon and Syria. Israeli aircraft have bombed convoys of advanced weapons in Syria including sophisticated Russian-made, surface-to-air missiles thought to have been destined for Hizbullah. Israeli officials have described the advanced antiaircraft systems as "game-changing" because they would challenge Israel's air superiority in the region.

2015-09-21 00:00:00

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