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    Russia Is the One to Curb Israel-Iran-Syria Crisis, Not US – Netanyahu's Deputy

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    Israeli Attacks on Targets in Syria in February 2018 (23)

    Tensions have been running high in the Middle East since the Israeli military intercepted an Iranian drone launched from Syrian territory, and Tel Aviv “enjoyed” the right to self-defense, launching an attack on “Iranian targets” in Syria, prompting reprisal strikes from Syrian air defense systems.

    In the wake of the worst military crisis between the Middle Eastern countries since the 1982 Lebanon war, Michael Oren, Benjamin Netanyahu’s deputy minister for public diplomacy, said that he believed that Israel was more counting on Russia than the United States, with President Trump watching from the sidelines.

    “The American part of the equation is to back us up, but the US currently has almost no leverage on the ground. America did not ante up in Syria. It’s not in the game. The expectations are that the Russians will stop it because I don’t think anyone is interested right now in a war,” Bloomberg cited him as saying.

    Oren also added that the Israeli government assumed that Russia had the ability to restrain Iran and Syria.

    READ MORE: Israeli Attacks on Syria: What Is Known So Far?

    Following the sudden escalation in the region, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation with an eye to discussing the situation around “the actions of the Israeli Air Force, which delivered missile strikes on targets in Syria.”

    Russia called on both sides to exercise restraint and avoid further confrontation:

    "The Russian side spoke out in favor of avoiding any steps that could lead to a new round of dangerous confrontation in the region," the Kremlin press service stated.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has urged the global community to respect Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and not to exacerbate the situation in the Middle East:

    "Moscow is deeply concerned with the latest developments and attacks on Syria. The danger of the escalation of tensions within and around the de-escalation zones, which have become an important factor in reducing violence in Syria, is of particular concern."

    READ MORE: 'Era of Hit and Run Is Over': Iranian Official on Israeli Strikes in Syria

    On February 10, Israel claimed that one of its attack helicopters had brought down an Iranian drone invading the Golan Heights, tweeting the alleged footage of the incident. Following the interception of the unmanned vehicle, an Israeli aircraft crossed into Syrian territory to destroy the command post that was used to control the drone, and was met with fire by Syria’s air defense systems. As a result of Syria’s reprisal attack, an F-16 fighter jet came down in Israel. Israel retaliated with a series of attacks against “additional Iranian targets in Syria” and the Syrian aerial defense array. The Israeli Defense Forces reported eight fighter jets had hit twelve targets in Syria, including three air-defense batteries and four Iranian military objects. 

    Israeli Attacks on Targets in Syria in February 2018 (23)
    Vladimir Putin, Benjamin Netanyahu, United States, Russia, Iran, Israel, Syria
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