Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu headed to Moscow Wednesday morning, saying that his meeting with
Russian President Vladimir Putin would be focused on “ensuring ongoing military
cooperation in Syria," The Times of Israel reported.
The trip comes hours after the earth-shaking decision of US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran, amid fears of European leaders, including Putin, from the consequences of the decision. It is also likely to be overshadowed by growing fears of an Israeli-Iranian confrontation over Syria, hours after Israel reportedly bombed a military site linked to Iranian fighters south of Damascus.
The two leaders are attending now a parade including a wreath-laying ceremony at the Red Square, followed by closed-doors talks.
The two countries are also at odds over the US pulling out of the nuclear deal, with a Russian diplomat warning Tuesday night the move could heighten tensions in the Middle East.
The trip comes after Syrian media reported on Tuesday night that Israel bombed a site south of Damascus, reportedly killing nine pro-Iranian fighters in an area previously identified as the site of a suspected Iranian military base.
The alleged strike came hours after the Israeli military said it had identified “abnormal movements of Iranian forces in Syria” and called for local governments on the Golan Heights to open their bomb shelters.
Further meetings between world leaders are expected to take place in the upcoming days to discuss the consequences of Trump's decision, and how the sanctions would limit Iran's military abilities.