Netanyahu and Putin agreed on pullout of all foreign troops from Syria

Israel and Russia will work together on securing an exit of all foreign forces from Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday after visiting Moscow.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes against Iranian and Hezbollah weapons and infrastructure in Syria. These operations have been largely ignored by Russia, which intervened militarily on Assad’s behalf in 2015, turning the tide of the war.

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“Last week I met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. As I promised, the focus of our discussions was the Iranian issue. I made it unequivocally clear that Israel will not allow the military entrenchment of Iran in Syria, and I also made it unequivocally clear that we would continue to take military action against it.

“We agreed on the continuation of the security coordination mechanism between the Russian military and the IDF. President Putin and I also agreed on a common goal – the withdrawal of foreign forces that arrived in Syria after the outbreak of the civil war. We agreed to establish a joint team to advance this goal, together with other elements.

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I invited President Putin to be the guest of honor at the dedication of the memorial to those who fell in the siege of Leningrad and he accepted my invitation. It is no small thing that we have such strong, good and close links with leaders of the major powers in the world. These links serve the security of Israel”.

Netanyahu also condemned the “horrific, anti-Semitic” attack on a Holocaust memorial in the French city of Strasbourg.

A memorial stone marking the site of Strasbourg’s Old Synagogue, which was destroyed by the Nazis in 1940, was vandalized overnight in the eastern French city.

Sadly, history repeats itself” - Memorial at Strasbourg's Old Synagogue destroyed by Nazis vandalized

“Sadly, history repeats itself,” Alain Fontanel, the deputy mayor of  Strasbourg wrote on Facebook.

“I strongly condemn all manifestations of antisemitism, and I call upon all leaders of enlightened countries to join in the systematic and continuous denunciation of antisemitism. The first way to fight antisemitism is to denounce and condemn it.

I welcome the fact that other countries are joining the definition of antisemitism, which also includes the definition of anti-Zionism. Anti-Zionism is the latest and most recent expression of antisemitism,” Netanyahu said.

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Last week, another very important thing occurred diplomatically and concerning security. This was Britain’s decision to outlaw Hezbollah and to define all of Hezbollah’s parts as a terrorist organization. This is an important decision because Hezbollah is a terrorist organization in its own right, and it is also the main terrorist arm of Iran.

I call on other countries, first of all in Europe but also around the world, to join this important move by Britain.