Putin and Netanyahu speak by phone on Syria

Putin and Netanyahu speak by phone on Syria

Putin and Netanyahu speak by phone on Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the opening ceremony of the annual Israeli Holocaust Memorial Day at the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem on April 11, 2018.

Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday called on Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to take any action that could further destabilise the situation in Syria, following Israeli strikes against a regime military base on Monday.

According to the Kremlin, Putin called for abstention from any actions which could "destabilize the situation in Syria and threaten [the country's security]". The Russians announced the call in statement on the website of the Kremlin, which specified that Putin insisted it is "important" to maintain Syria's sovereignty. Tel Aviv views Hizballah, an Iranian-backed regime ally, as its biggest threat and has grown alarmed over Tehran's growing clout in Syria.

Israeli officials confirmed the call took place and said that Netanyahu told Putin that Israel will not permit Iran to set up a military presence in Syria.

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Later, a rival Russian bid to create a new inquiry also failed after the proposed resolution only received six votes in favour. It's not clear how the OPCW inspection in Syria would impact the timing of potential US military action .

Syria, Iran and Russian Federation say Israel was behind an air strike on a Syrian air base on Monday that killed seven Iranian military personnel, something Israel has neither confirmed nor denied.

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.

Russian Federation is the biggest ally of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's regime and warned against strikes, notably by the United States in reprisal for an alleged chemical attack against rebel-held Douma that has sparked worldwide outrage and "could destabilise the already fragile situation in the region", the Kremlin said yesterday.

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