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Russia and Israel's Row Over Ukraine Risks Bleeding Into Syria

MIN READJul 18, 2022 | 20:51 GMT

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) speaks with then-Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Sochi, Russia, on Oct. 22 2021.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) speaks with then-Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (left) in Sochi, Russia, on Oct. 22, 2021.

(YEVGENY BIYATOV/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

Russian pressure on Israel to reduce support for Ukraine and ease airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria could trigger a diplomatic crisis or accidental military escalation between the two -- particularly in Syria, where the Israeli-Russo relationship is becoming tenser. On July 5, Russia's foreign ministry demanded Israel cease a long-running covert air campaign against Iranian targets in Syria after Israeli warplanes hit a reputed Iranian position relatively close to Russia's naval base in Tartus. That same day, Israel accused Moscow of threatening to close down the Jewish Agency in Russia, which aids Jewish immigration and visits to Israel (known as "Aliyah"). In June, Russia also criticized an Israeli airstrike on the Damascus airport that shut down the airport for days....

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