Israeli, Russian militaries meet, reach ‘understandings’ on cooperation in Syria

The Israeli and Russian militaries complete a series of meetings aimed at improving relations between the two armed forces, following the downing of a Russian spy plane in September which Moscow blamed on Israel.

Jerusalem and Moscow maintain a so-called “deconfliction mechanism,” which is meant to ensure that there are no accidental clashes between the two militaries in Syria, as the Russian Army supports Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and Israel conducts airstrikes against Assad-allied Iranian and Hezbollah targets in the country.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the meetings dealt with “advancing and improving the deconfliction mechanism between the two countries in the northern arena and the IDF’s activities against Iranian entrenchment and the Hezbollah organization’s rearmament efforts in Syria.”

The army says the conversations were held in a “good and professional spirit.” They were led by the head of the IDF’s Operational Division, Brig. Gen. Yaniv Assur, who previously served as commander of the IDF division defending the Syrian border.

“The delegations reached understandings and agreed on continued collaboration,” the IDF says.

— Judah Ari Gross