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Netanyahu, Putin Discuss Military Coordination, Hizballah Threat


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on April 21 and discussed coordination between their militaries in Syria.

Netanyahu also told Putin he was concerned that sophisticated weapons from Syria could end up in the hands of the Lebanese militant group Hizballah, which like Russia is a close ally of the Syrian government.

Netanyahu said in televised remarks that Israel fears the opening of yet another "front of terror" in the Golan Heights if Hizballah obtains such weapons from Syria.

Israel captured the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it in 1981. At the start of the meeting, Netanyahu said the Golan is a "red line" and must remain a part of Israel.

Netanyahu said closer military coordination is needed to avoid "potential mistakes, misunderstandings, and incidents," between Israel and Russia as it conducts air strikes in Syria in support of Syrian troops.

Israel has largely stayed out of the Syrian conflict, but Netanyahu has confirmed his country operates over the border to prevent Hizballah from obtaining game-changing weapons.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and TASS