Netanyahu and Putin agree to coordinate anti-terror efforts

( Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone on Tuesday to discuss anti-terror efforts and the civil war in Syria.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Vladimir Putin meet in November 2013. Credit: YouTube screenshot.

During their conversation, Netanyahu and Putin agreed to coordinate “anti-terror” efforts, especially within Syria, the Russia news agency RIA reported.

The phone call comes following the purported Israeli assassination in Syria of Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar, who kidnapped and killed an Israeli family in 1979 and was later released from an Israeli prison in 1998 as part of a prisoner exchange with Hezbollah.

According to Arab media, many have questioned why Russia did not use its advanced S-400 air defense system to prevent the alleged Israeli airstrike.

Despite Russia’s ties with Iran and Syria as well as its tensions with the West over Ukraine, Israel has maintained a warm relationship with Putin. In September, Netanyahu flew to Moscow and met with Putin to establish a mechanism to prevent inadvertent clashes over Syria.

"Under the agreements we have with the Russians, they act in accordance with their interests; we act in accordance with our interests; and the one doesn’t bother the other," Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said in November.

Netanyahu and Putin also met again on the sidelines of the Paris climate change conference in late November.  

Posted on December 22, 2015 .