Israel’s Avigdor Lieberman Monday warmly welcomed Gen. Sergey Shoigu, the first Russian defense minister to visit Israel in many years, but also informed him when they met in Tel Aviv: “We won’t get involved in the internal affairs of Syria, but by the same token we shan’t let Iran and Hezbollah make Syrian territory their forward military operating base against Israel. We shall not hesitate to act if Iran and/or its proxies continue to entrench themselves along the Syrian-Israeli border,” Lieberman reiterated.
Neither, he said, would Israel allow Iran to transfer advanced weaponry to Lebanon via Syria.
Gen. Shoigu is due to meeting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Tuesday. The Russian defense minister arrived in Israel shortly after Israeli rockets destroyed a Russian-supplied SA-5 battery near Damascus which had fired ground-to-air missiles at an Israeli reconnaissance flight over Lebanon.