23:31 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Smoke rises after airstrikes targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria

    Russian FM: Israeli Strikes in Syria Will Increase Regional Tensions

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Israeli strikes in Syria will not resolve Tel Aviv's problems but will only increase tensions in the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

    "Military operations cannot resolve Israeli security concerns but will only help increase regional tensions," Lavrov said in an interview with Spain's El Pais newspaper.

    The minister added that Israel endangered the life of Russian troops in Syria's Palmyra in 2017 by failing to stick to its own commitments.

    "Unfortunately, Israel has not always met its obligations, primarily those related to the warnings by the Russian military against military operations in Syria. In some cases, this endangered the life and health of our soldiers in Syria, for example when Israeli planes bombed targets near Palmyra in March 2017," he stressed.

    Lavrov also said that Moscow regrets that the Western countries rejected the idea of Russian President Vladimir Putin to create an international counter-terrorism coalition under the auspices of the United Nations.

    READ MORE: Israeli Defense Chief: US Sanctions Deal a 'Critical Blow' to Iran in Syria

    "The idea to establish a broad anti-terrorism coalition under the auspices of the United Nations was raised by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the UN General Assembly back in September 2015. Unfortunately, it was not supported by our Western partners," the foreign minister said.

    "This is unfortunate because terrorism threatens all members of the international community."

    On October 2, Moscow completed its deliveries of S-300 systems to Damascus in a bid to increase the safety of the Russian troops deployed in the Middle Eastern country. The air defense upgrade was announced after a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 military plane was downed on September 17 by a missile launched by a Syrian S-200 air defense system targeting Israeli F-16 jets that were carrying out airstrikes in Latakia. The Russian Defense Ministry has blamed the crash on the Israeli Air Force, claiming that the Israeli jets used the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defense systems.

    Former Israeli deputy chief of staff and ex-head of the National Security Council Gen. Uzi Dayan told Sputnik in an interview last week that Israeli forces have no plans to target Russian-made S-300 air defense systems in Syria if the Syrian army uses them in a way that poses no threat to Israel.


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    strikes, tensions, security, Sergei Lavrov, Israel, Syria, Russia
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