Syrian Civil War

Scoop: Netanyahu tells Greece, Cyprus that Trump will keep heat on Turkey

Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the foreign ministers of Greece and Cyprus during meetings in Jerusalem last month that he doesn't see President Trump reducing the pressure on Turkey over the arrest of American pastor Andrew Brunson or an improvement in U.S.-Turkey relations in the near future, Israeli officials and Western diplomats told me.

Why it matters: Greece and Cyprus are two of Turkey's main adversaries. Israel has its own crisis with Turkey after the government in Ankara asked the Israeli ambassador to leave the country over violence in Gaza. And Netanyahu played a role in Trump's efforts to release Brunson when he agreed to Trump's request to release a Turkish citizen detained in Israel. As a result of the deal, which didn't lead to Brunson's release and led to U.S. sanctions against Turkey, Netanyahu has good knowledge of Trump's thinking on the issue.

Russia to supply Syria with S-300 missiles in rebuke of Israel

Putin
Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

One week after a Russian plane was accidentally shot down by Syrian missiles launched at Israeli fighter jets, Russia has announced it will supply the Syrian army with sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missiles.

Why it matters: Israel has asked the Russians for many years to avoid supplying S-300 missiles to Syria because it could limit the Israeli air force's freedom of operation in Syria. The Russian announcement threatens to break the coordination mechanism between the two countries in Syria and unravel what was thought to be a close relationship between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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