Israel launched its newest air defense system on Monday on the Syrian frontier, where Damascus’s Russian-backed forces have been routing rebels, as Moscow sent envoys for what it called “urgent” talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu planned to meet Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and its armed forces chief, General Valery Gerasimov, later in the day, a visit the Israeli leader said was arranged last week at the request of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Israel has been on high alert as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regains ground from southern rebels, bringing his forces close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

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