Netanyahu's priority in Russian Federation is to prevent Iranian front in Syria

Israel hopes to reach "specific understandings" with Russian Federation to prevent Iran from permanently setting up a base of operations in Syria against Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the cabinet on Sunday.

Israeli media say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Cabinet has approved a measure that would reduce penalties for possession of marijuana.

The Israeli leader said "there's an attempt on behalf of Iran, as part of an agreement or without it, to base itself permanently in Syria - either through ground military presence or naval military presence - and also through a gradual attempt to open a front with us on the Golan Heights".

"Yes", the Kremlin's spokesman said replying to a question whether Putin will meet with Netanyahu on Thursday.

"I will express to President Putin Israel's sharp and vigorous opposition to this possibility".

Iran, which is Israel's arch-enemy and Syria's ally, has always helped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and provided military support to help him. Netanyahu has said that Israel has carried out dozens of strikes to prevent weapons smuggling to the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah via Syria.

Israeli officials have warned against Iran's growing influence in the region.

Last year, Netanyahu visited Russian Federation twice, discussing Syria, anti-terrorism as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the global community.

"I hope that we'll be able to reach certain understandings to lessen the possible friction between our forces and their forces, as we've successfully done so far", he added, referring to the Russian military.

  • Leroy Wright