TEL AVIV, December 10. /TASS/. A delegation of senior officers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will pay a visit to Moscow on Tuesday, the IDF tweeted on Monday.
"Following the conversation between the Israeli PM & Minister of Defense and [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, senior IDF officers led by the Head of the Operations Directorate, Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, will go to Moscow tomorrow," the IDF said. "During the day-long visit, the delegation will brief their Russian counterparts on Operation Northern Shield and other operational issues."
Israel launched the Northern Shield operation near the border with Lebanon on December 4 to spot and destroy tunnels dug by Hezbollah militants into Israel’s territory.
Following Saturday’s telephone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday the two countries’ military may meet within days in Moscow to discuss coordination in Syria. He pledged that Israel would continue its policy towards preventing Iran from deploying its military bases in Syria.
The Russian electronic surveillance Il-20 plane was downed over the Mediterranean Sea late on September 17 when it was flying back to the Russian airbase at Syria’s Hmeymim. According to the Russian defense ministry, the plane was shot down by a missile from a Syrian S-200 air defense complex when it was firing at four Israeli F-16 aircraft attacking targets in the Latakia governorate. The Israeli pilots actually hid behind the Russian plane exposing it to Syrian missiles, the ministry stressed. Fifteen Russian servicemen who were onboard the plane were killed. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenko placed entire responsibility for the downing of the Russian plane on Israel’s Air Forces and those who were behind the decision to use the Russian plane as a shield.