Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that the Israeli military is currently “operating on a number of fronts basically in an expanse of 360 degrees to ensure Israeli security amid attempts by Iran and its proxies to attack us.”
Netanyahu was speaking to reporters at Ben Gurion International Airport on Thursday before flying to Sochi for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at which a major topic would be maintaining the “important coordination which prevents clashes between us and the Russian forces.”
The prime minister said that the timing of the meeting is important due to the multiple security threats facing the Jewish State. The comment may have been aimed at deflecting criticism leveled against Netanyahu in Israel that the Putin encounter was meant as propaganda ahead of the Knesset election on Tuesday.
The incumbent Israeli prime minister has been using his prowess in international diplomacy as a selling point during the campaign, with billboards in Israel showing him shaking hands and meeting with the likes of Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump.
Russia has been playing a central role in war-torn Syria. Netanyahu has been working to ensure that the Russian involvement does not get in the way of the Israeli objective of getting Iran out of Syria, an aim which Netanyahu said on Thursday is “far from being achieved.”
Referring to the Syrian front as “a major front,” the prime minister told reporters: “You hear about it from time to time,” a reference to reported airstrikes on Syria, for which Israel sometimes takes responsibility but other times does not.
“It is important to us to preserve the freedom of operation of the IDF and the air force against Iranian targets, Hezbollah targets, other terror targets,” Netanyahu said.
Despite the Israeli-Russian coordination regarding Syria, Moscow has, at times, criticized Israel for its airstrikes.
In June, Netanyahu hosted a historic trilateral summit meeting of the national security advisers of the U.S., Russia, and Israel in Jerusalem. The discussions focused on Iran, Syria, and regional issues.
Originally posted at World Israel News.