Netanyahu and Putin to continue Syria coordination

Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks to Russian President three days after elimination of Samir Kuntar.

Ben Ariel ,

Putin and Netanyahu (archive)
Putin and Netanyahu (archive)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone on Tuesday and discussed the situation in Syria.

The two leaders agreed to continue dialogue at various levels, including coordination in the war against terrorism between the two countries, as well as in other regional matters, said statements from both the Kremlin and the Prime Minister's Office quoted by Haaretz.

The Kremlin said Putin told Netanyahu there was no alternative to the launch of intra-Syrian negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations, as well as to a "continued and uncompromising fight" against Islamic State (ISIS) and other extremist groups acting in Syria.

The phone call between the two leaders came two days after the elimination of Hezbollah terrorist Samir Kuntar in Damascus, in an airstrike foreign reports have attributed to Israel.

An expert estimated this week that Israel notified Russia, which also carried out airstrikes in Syria, that it intends to strike a target inside Damascus before the airstrike that killed Kuntar.

However, the Kremlin spokesman said at a press conference following the strike that he did not know for certain if Israel had coordinated with Russia, or informed it in advance of the attack, according to Haaretz.

Israel and Russia have a joint mechanism to coordinate military operations in Syria, and in particular concerning the use of Syrian airspace. The mechanism was agreed upon during a meeting between Netanyahu and Putin three weeks ago in Paris, on the sidelines of the international climate conference.