Russian President Vladimir Putin with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kremlin in Moscow on May 9, 2018. Photo: AFP/Sergei Ilnitsky
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, speaks with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kremlin in May 2018. Photo: AFP/ Sergei Ilnitsky

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time since US President Donald Trump’s shock announcement last month that he was pulling his country’s troops out of Syria.

During the phone call the two “discussed the situation in Syria and recent developments and agreed on continued coordination between the [Israeli and Russian] militaries,” according to a statement from the Israeli leader’s office.

Netanyahu said Israel was “determined to continue its efforts to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria,” it added.

Trump last month announced he would pull out all its troops from Syria, but the exact timeframe remains unclear.

Russia has been directly engaged in the Syrian war since 2015 in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which is also supported by Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah – two longtime enemies of the Jewish state.

– with reporting by Agence France-Presse