JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Moscow Wednesday to communicate Israel's security concerns in Syria and Lebanon to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In recent days, Israel has noted the serious refugee problem created by the Syrian regime's routing of areas in southern Syria near the border with Jordan. The Netanyahu government is detemined to keep fighters loyal to Assad and to Iran out of the Syrian Golan border area near Israel.
Israel's Northern Border with Syria, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
The two leaders have met regularly since Putin deployed warplanes, missiles and related paraphernalia to a military base outside the Syrian port city of Latakia in September 2015.
Shortly afterward, Netanyahu held a lengthy meeting with Putin in which they established a joint Israeli-Russian team to coordinate military activities and mitigate "misunderstandings."
Netanyahu called the meeting "substantive," noting the importance of preventing misunderstandings before they occur rather than afterward.
Israeli Village in the Golan Heights, Photo, CBN News, Jonathan Goff
In the ensuing years, Israel has rarely commented on targeted strikes against Iranian convoys attempting to deliver weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon or airstrikes against Iranian military bases in Syria.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu met with Russian envoys Alexander Lavrentiev and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin, in Jerusalem, reiterating again Israel's objection to an Iranian presence in Syria.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Russian Envoys Alexander Lavrentiev (left) and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin, Photo, GPO, Amos Ben-Gershom
"Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear that Israel will not tolerate a military presence by Iran or its proxies anywhere in Syria and that Syria must strictly abide by the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
On Wednesday evening, Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, along with two young cancer patients, will attend the World Cup semi-finals between Britain and Croatia.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, his wife, Sara, with Elon (center) and Mika, Photo, GPO, Kobi Gideon
"We decided to bring with us two wonderful children who are bravely fighting cancer: Mika, whom my wife and I have known for nine years, and Alon, whose parents emigrated from Russia and who likes soccer very much. We are very moved that we can realize a dream for them.
Asked who would win the match, Netanyahu told them, "the better team."