Israel, Russia discuss coordination in Syria

Israel and Russia to set up a coordination team to prevent unintended clashes while confrontations in Syria

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia

Updated Sep 25, 2015

Israel and Russia set up a coordination team on Thursday to prevent the countries accidentally trading fire with each other in Syria, Reuters has reported.

Both Russian and Israeli military chiefs will hold the first meeting of the team on October 5.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, "As far as channels of information exchanges and coordination of likely actions are concerned, this theme was discussed. Certain agreements at the meeting with Netanyahu were achieved."

The Spokesman, referring to the meeting in October, remarked that "the group’s meeting is a theme that concerns the Defence Ministry and all questions regarding the date and the very instance of such a meeting should be addressed there."

"When it comes to communication channels and coordination of possible actions, yes, in fact, this topic was discussed and certain agreements and points during the meeting with Netanyahu were reached," Peskov told reporters in a conference call.

Israel is concerned about Russian deployment of military forces in Syria, which US officials and regional sources say includes anti-aircraft units and warplanes.

A view of Russian fighter jets and helicopters at a military base in the government-controlled coastal Syrian city of Latakia. (AFP)

The Jerusalem Post, an Israeli daily newpaper previously reported that both the Israeli Air Forces and Russian Air Forces will coordinate their Syria-related activities in the aerial, naval, and electromagnetic arenas.

Russia and Israel allso agreed not to scramble each other’s radio communications or radar surveillance systems.

Both will share information for identifying each other’s forces to avoid any unplanned confrontation in the heat of battle.

The countries also will coordinate sea operations.

Since 2013 Israel has launched more than 10 aerial attacks on arms warehouses and convoys en route from Syria to Lebanon.

The US recently raised concerns about Russian military support to Bashar al Assad's regime regarding whether this might risk a confrontation between Russian forces with the US-led coalition forces targeting ISIS.

In addition to the US, France and the UK raised concerns over a “very significant” increase in the Russian military presence in Syria during a recent conference on cyber-security.

"The Russian build-up in Syria only complicates an already complicated and difficult situation," UK Defence Minister Michael Fallon said, speaking at a joint news conference on the sidelines of the conference.

TRTWorld and agencies