Russia to Israel: Arbitrary attacks on sovereign Syrian territory must stop
Monday 11/February/2019 - 10:35 AM
The Jerusalem Post
Just prior to their meeting in Jerusalem، Moscow censured Israel for a raid on Iranian targets that the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said killed 21 people، 12 of them believed to be members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. That raid followed Iran’s launching of a missile from near Damascus toward Mount Hermon، which was intercepted by an Iron Dome battery.
Strikes inside Syria “further destabilize the situation،” Vershinin said، adding that no one should do anything in Syria that goes beyond the goals of “fighting terrorism” – which is the justification Moscow gives for both Russian and Iranian involvement in Syria to fight Islamic State and rebel forces، and bolster Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Russia has made clear to Israel that “arbitrary attacks on sovereign Syrian territory should be stopped،” and has not seamlessly moved past the downing of the Russian spy plane in September، Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said in an interview posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry website.
Vershinin، who along with Alexander Lavrentiev، Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy on Syria، visited Jerusalem last month and met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu، said “absolutely not” when asked if Moscow was ready to close its eyes to Israeli attacks in Syria even if Russians are not in the line of fire، and whether Russia has moved past the downing of its spy plane that it blamed indirectly on Israel.
When reminded in the interview that Israel views Hezbollah as a terrorist target، Vershinin said that Moscow disagrees، and does not view the Lebanese Shia group as a terrorist organization.
Netanyahu is scheduled to travel next week to Moscow for a meeting with Putin، and when announcing the visit last week، he said one of the issues to be discussed would be strengthening the deconfliction mechanism that exists between the two countries to prevent accidental engagement between the two militaries.