ISRAELI WORRIED ABOUT RUSSIA

Netanyahu to quiz Putin on Russia
By Dan Williams
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Moscow on Monday to seek reassurance from President Vladimir Putin about Russia’s military deployment in Syria and to lay out Israel’s concerns about the risk of weapons reaching militants on its borders.
With fighter planes part of the rapid Russian build-up, Israel is worried about the threat of fire accidentally being traded with Russian forces, especially since it has carried out air raids against militants in southern Syria and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters suspected of smuggling arms.
A former strategic adviser to Netanyahu said the Israeli leader would try to work out “ground rules” with Putin about avoiding such clashes.
The United States, which along with its allies has been flying missions against Islamist State insurgents in Syria, has also been holding so-called “deconfliction” talks with Russia.
“It could come down to Israel and Russia agreeing to limit themselves to defined areas of operation in Syria, or even that they fly at daytime and we fly at night,” said the ex-adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Among Israel’s concerns is that Israeli warplanes could come up against Russian-operated anti-aircraft systems or even Russian-flown jets.

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