The Russian fighter jet that was shot down by Turkey last week has caused a major diplomatic crisis between the two countries. Israel, however, is unlikely to find itself in such diplomatic diificulties with Russia. Speaking at an event in Beersheva, Channel 2 News reports that Israeli Defense Ministry director of policy and political-military affairs General (res.) Amos Gilad has revealed the extent to which military coordination between Russia and Israel has deepened in recent weeks.
"Russian pilots occasionally cross into Israeli airspace," Gilad said, "but due to excellent defense coordination that began with Netanyahu's meeting with Putin in which limits were set, the Israel Defense Forces and the Russian military agreed on security arrangements. If there is an incident where the Russians come into our airspace, we know what to do and how to prevent incidents that would escalate."
He added, "In the understandings with the Russians, we retain freedom of action in our attempts to prevent weapons getting through from Iran to Hezbollah."
Amos continued, "Erdogan has every reason to regret the missile that brought down the Russian fighter jet."
While coalition forces continue to bomb targets throughout Syria, Gilad insists that the situation in Israel's neighbor is irreversible. "Syria as a country is dead," he said, "It's a land but not a state. President Assad gets his salary but not longer controls the country, maybe a quarter of the country."
Speaking about the tense relations between Israel and Turkey, which have not recovered from the Marmara incident, he said "The negative aspects of relations with Turkey have disappeared. Although, we haven't returned to the defense cooperation, there is no longer friction with Turkey, and economic ties are flourishing.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 28, 2015
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