|Russia Insider | Mar 23, 2017|
In a suggestive but somewhat cryptic statement, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that Moscow would take note of Israel's actions — not words — in Syria, and respond accordingly.
Lavrov said on Wednesday that:
Russia "will judge how accurately this arrangement is carried out by our Israeli partners not on the basis of what they say but how they act," Lavrov stressed.We reported earlier this week that Syria's U.N. envoy Bashar Jaafari said that Syria's use of anti-aircraft missiles against Israeli fighter jets was a "message" from Putin.
"During Israel’s prime minister [Benjamin Netanyahu's] second to latest visit to Moscow he and President [of Russia Vladimir] Putin achieved a clear agreement about the way Russian and Israeli militaries could cooperate in relation to the situation in Syria," Lavrov said, commenting on last week's Israeli strikes on the Syrian Armed Forces posts near Damascus.
Israel's ambassador was summoned by Moscow after Friday's airstrikes, and reports have emerged that Russian military advisors were operating just a few kilometers from the area that was targeted by Israeli strikes; so there's certainly circumstantial evidence to back up Jaafari's claim.
But Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists the exact opposite — that Putin understands that "if there is a feasibility from an intelligence and military standpoint - [Israel will] attack [targets in Syria]".
Lavrov's statement suggests that the Russia and Israel have some kind of agreement concerning Syria — and that Moscow is unpleased with how it's being carried out.
The question now is: What does this agreement entail?