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Israel hosts Russian delegation to discuss Syria, Iran

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met with a delegation of senior Russian officials to discuss the situation in neighboring Syria. Netanyahu's office said Tuesday he met with Russia's special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin. It said the talks focused on Iran, Syria and "strengthening the security coordination mechanism between the militaries" to prevent friction.

Israel has acknowledged carrying out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria, primarily at Iranian targets and suspected Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah militants. Israel and Russia maintain a hotline to prevent their air forces from clashing in Syrian skies. While the hotline has worked, a Syrian anti-aircraft missile aimed at an Israeli plane last September instead shot down a Russian plane. Russia angrily blamed Israel for the mishap.

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