'Iran stepping up attempts to attack Israel from Syria'

PM Netanyahu meets Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, explains Israeli responses to Iranian buildup in Syria.

Tags: Iran Syria Russia
Ido Ben Porat, Sochi ,

Netanyahu in Sochi
Netanyahu in Sochi

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Thursday with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu in Sochi.

The meeting went on for about an hour and a half, and dealt mainly with ways to prevent Iran's entrenchment in Syria, which threatens Israel.

A political official said: "The meeting was very important and detailed and dealt with security matters, even at the operational level. The two discussed tightening military coordination."

"The prime minister told the defense minister that Israeli activity has been increasing recently because Iran is stepping up its attempts to attack Israel from the Syrian territory, and therefore military coordination is needed," the source added.

The prime minister will next meet Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Bocharov Ruchey residence.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told reporters before leaving for Russia Thursday: "This is a very important journey at the present time. We are working on several arenas to ensure Israel's security against Iran's attempts and metastases to attack us in the Syrian arena. This is a key arena and it is important for us to preserve the IDF's freedom of action against Iranian, Hezbollah and other targets. The common goal we agree on, which is far from being achieved, is the removal of all Iranian forces from Syria."

"This visit is a periodic visit," he continued. “I do not stop dealing with Israel's security because of the elections, and Iran does not stop its attempts to harm us. I am attentive to Israel's security needs during an election period as well.”

He also addressed American conduct against Iran. "President Trump imposed harsh sanctions on Iran two days ago. If the US and the President want to change their policies, I'm sure they will do so under the same policy of pressure and various demands from Iran. I conveyed all the required messages on the issue through the direct pipelines to President Trump and his advisers."