Bibi meets Vladi as Russia contemplates directly intervening in Syria:
Russia said it’s willing to consider sending troops into combat operations in Syria if President Bashar al-Assad’s government requests assistance. While the possibility is hypothetical now, “if there is a request, it will be discussed as part of bilateral contacts,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call on Friday. “Of course it will be discussed and considered.”
The prospect of direct Russian involvement in the country’s civil war, in which more than 250,000 people have died since 2011, would mark a sharp escalation in President Vladimir Putin’s support for the embattled Assad government. The U.S. has accused Russia of increasing military aid to Syria in recent weeks by sending tanks, artillery and personnel, as well as setting up what the Pentagon says might be a forward airbase near the coastal city of Latakia. Syria also hosts Russia’s only naval facility outside the former Soviet Union at Tartus.
The possibility of troop involvement emerged before a visit to Moscow by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday for talks with Putin about Russia’s growing military involvement in Syria. Netanyahu “will present the threats posed to Israel as a result of the increased flow of advanced war material to the Syrian arena and the transfer of deadly weapons to Hezbollah and other terror organizations,” the Israeli government said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday.
It should be rich listening to the USA, which presently has troops occupying countries all over the world, trying to spin this into Russian aggression. What is particularly interesting is this meeting coming so soon after the first serious defeat of AIPAC in Congress in years. The Soviets and the Israelis were allies in the early years, and I know a lot of Israelis prefer Assad to ISIS and the other Islamist parties.