(photo credit: REUTERS)
The head of Israel's Mossad met with Jordan's King Abdullah in Amman in part to discuss Russian military intervention in embattled Syria, according to a report released Friday by the news site Middle East Eye.
The site claims that the report is based on an account seen of a January 11 conversation between American Congress members and the Jordanian king during his visit to Washington.
The report did not specify the date of the meeting between Abdullah and the head of Israel's intelligence agency.
According to the report, Abdullah briefed the US members of Congress on a joint confrontation by Israeli and Jordanian F-16s against Russian jets that took place over Syria's southern border.
The Russian warplanes were reportedly in the vicinity on a mission to scope out Israeli defenses on the border with neighboring Syria.
"We saw the Russians fly down, but they were met with Israeli and Jordanian F-16s, both together in Israeli and Jordanian airspace," Middle East Eye quoted Abdullah as saying.
According to the report, the incident spurred trilateral deescalation maneuvers between Jordan, Israel and Russia. Prior to extending communication to Moscow - on the behest of the IDF's chief of staff - and later meeting with a Russian delegation in Amman, Abdullah allegedly met with the Mossad chief in the Jordanian capital.
"We discussed an idea on how to keep the Russians in their place," the king reportedly told the US politicians.
As a result of the talks, Abdullah reportedly said that Amman and Moscow agreed on a natural border over which the Russians could not conduct military operations.
On March 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise announcement
that he was partially withdrawing his forces from Syria.
According to Reuters, Russia has since been pulling out its attack aircraft from Syria, where its air campaign in support of President Bashar Assad has turned fighting in his favor.
It is noted that the new Mossad chief Yossi Cohen took office in early January, therefore it was not clear whether he was the Israeli intelligence head present in the reported meeting with the Jordanian king or his predecessor Tamir Pardo.
Israel and Jordan maintain close security ties, and a few months ago aircraft from the air forces of both countries flew together in a joint maneuver held in the United States.