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Israeli, Russian foreign ministers discuss key regional issues via phone

With the second round of Iran nuke talks resuming in Vienna, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaks on the phone with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.
Israeli tanks are seen in action during a military drill near Ramat Trump settlement in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights on Dec. 7, 2021.

Syrian state news agency SANA said this morning that Israeli jets had allegedly fired a number of missiles at the port of Latakia. Reportedly, the strikes targeted the container terminal at the port, causing large explosions and fires. No injuries were registered. This morning’s report joins a Dec. 7 report by SANA of an alleged similar aerial hit on the Latakia port. Much like today’s attack, it destroyed shipping containers and caused a fire. The target was apparently an Iranian weapons shipment. Israeli authorities declined to comment on either of these incidents.

Foreign media claims that Israel had avoided over the years targeting the Latakia port and its environs in an effort to avoid hurting the Russian military presence nearby. This, despite Iran allegedly using the terminal to transport advanced munitions through it to Hezbollah and other proxies in the region. In fact, under the Netanyahu government, Israel and Russia had agreed on a deconfliction mechanism. This mechanism means using communication channels between armies on both sides to prevent Israeli and Russian forces from clashing in Syrian skies. At their Oct. 22 meeting in Sochi, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to continue with this mechanism.

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