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First ever Israeli-Russian joint military exercise is coming this summer


Debka File

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu decided at their June 7 meeting in Moscow to deepen the military ties between the Russian and Israeli armed forces,debkafile reports exclusively from is military and intelligence sources. It was a historic decision that spells the end of the IDF’s unique relationship with the US military. The head of the IDF’s military intelligence branch, Maj. Gen. Hertzi Halevi, and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen also participated in the meeting.

Our sources report that Putin and Netanyahu decided that a joint exercise by the Israeli and Russian naval and air forces will be held this summer as part of the first stage of expanded ties. It will mark the first time in modern Middle East military history that Russian military planes take off from an Arab country, Syria’s Hmeymim airbase, and Russian warships sail out of their bases in Tartus and Latakia, for joint maneuvers with the Israeli air force and navy.

debkafile’s military sources add that, ahead of the exercise, the joint mechanism that coordinates Russian and Israeli air flights in Syrian airspace will be expanded. According to those sources, the bilateral decision for the joint war game was tied to an agreement to allow Russian gas companies to compete for contracts to develop Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar offshore gas fields.

Netanyahu said June 7 in Moscow, “Our doors are open now to all companies from all countries that have substantial experience in developing gas fields, including Russia of course.” Putin had tried repeatedly to win a foothold for Russian companies, especially energy giant Gazprom, in the development of Israel’s offshore gas fields


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