Russian defense minister to make rare Israel visit for talks on Syria

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu will visit Israel in mid-October to meet with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Israel's Channel 10 reported on Sunday.

Israel is concerned about Iran's activities and actions of the Hezbollah Shi movement in Syria and Tehran's possible organization of permanent military bases near the Israeli northern borders. Damascus inhabitants also said that they subsequently saw two ground-to-air missiles launched from the Syrian 1st division´s position from the south of Damascus.

Earlier this month Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to deploy observers on the edge of a "de-escalation" zone in Syria's Idlib province, which is largely under the control of Islamist insurgents. Nevertheless, Shoigu's visit will be the first visit of a Russian defense minister to Israel in several years.

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The soft-spoken defense minister is seen by many analysts as a driving force behind Russia's aggressive support for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

This weekend's report has not been confirmed by the IDF, nor was it confirmed by Syria or the Iranian Hezbollah proxy group fighting alongside Syrian government forces.

Last month Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi where he re-emphasized the danger that the growing Iranian presence in Syria poses a threat not only to Israel and the Middle East but the entire world. "We need a clear framework to be able to reassure regional countries and the United States", the President said, adding that France was ready to mediate between the U.S. and Iran.

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Some residents celebrated in the streets as government troops and paramilitaries entered the town centre and tore down the black flags of the jihadists who had ruled it with an iron fist for more than three years.

"Iran seeks to create territorial connection from Iran to the Mediterranean, deepen military force in the air, sea and land - including tens in thousands of Shiite militias soldiers", Netanyahu claimed.

The Hezbollah-linked Lebanese Al-Mayadeen television station claimed two rockets landed near the airport.

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