A recent encounter over Syria involving combat aircraft from the Israeli and Russian air forces was among the topics discussed during a 21 April meeting between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

During the incident, a Russian fighter was scrambled towards an Israeli jet which was performing a mission inside Syrian airspace. Israeli sources say there was no hostile action from either side but that the incident highlighted a need for better co-ordination between the two air forces.

According to foreign sources, the Israeli air force is maintaining a continuous presence in Syrian airspace to detect any transfer of weapons through the nation to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.

The Moscow meeting between Netanyahu and Putin included discussion about Israel's stated determination to attack every convoy of arms coming from Iran to Lebanon via Syria. Despite Russia's declaration its combat units have been withdrawn from Syria, Israeli sources say its personnel are still controlling the nation's airspace, with some of its surface-to-air missile systems still in position.

Netanyahu was accompanied by senior officials, including military secretary Col Eliezer Toledano, National Security Council head Avriel Bar-Yosef and air force chief Maj Gen Amir Eshel.

Source: FlightGlobal.com