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Putin Promises Netanyahu to Stop Delivery of ‘S-300’ to Syrian Regime

Putin Promises Netanyahu to Stop Delivery of ‘S-300’ to Syrian Regime

Monday, 4 March, 2019 - 06:45
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 27, 2019. (Maxim Shemetov/Pool/AFP)
Tel Aviv - Nazir Magally
Russian President Vladimir Putin has informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Moscow would stop the transfer of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to the Syrian army and would form a joint team with Tel Aviv on the pullout of foreign forces from the war-torn country, political sources said.

During the meeting in Moscow last Wednesday, Putin also pledged to allow Israel to operate freely in Syria, the Tel Aviv sources said.

Russia has dispatched advanced S-300 air defense batteries to Syria, raising concerns they could be used against Israeli warplanes. They have yet to be deployed, according to intelligence assessments.

On Sunday, Maariv newspaper claimed receiving information on the pledges made by Putin to Netanyahu from the Israeli PM’s office.

It confirmed that the first deal struck between the Russian and Israeli leaders means that the Syrian army would not control the S-300 air defense system, already installed in northern Syria, and would be banned from using it unilaterally against Israeli jets.

As for their second agreement, Maariv's military analyst Tal Lev-Ram said that it touches on the presence of Iranian forces in Syria.

Lev-Ram downplayed the agreements reached between Netanyahu and Putin saying, “Russians would not exert pressure to force the pullout of Iranian forces from Syria, but would keep their double standards to protect their interests.”

On Sunday, the Israeli PM told his Cabinet that he made it unequivocally clear to Russia that Tel Aviv will not allow the military entrenchment of Iran in Syria and would continue to take military action against it.

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