TEL AVIV (Sputnik) — The war in Syria has not changed the friendly relations maintained between the Russian and Israeli armed forces, as no incidents have occurred that could undermine these relations, Russian ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein said Tuesday.
"Regarding the danger of incidents, the Russian armed forces and the Israel Defense Forces are on friendly terms with one another. This has been stated by both our countries as far back as several years ago. Since then, there have been no situations, including the start of the crisis in Syria, which could have led to either the Russian or Israeli sides changing this assessment," Shein told RIA Novosti.
The ambassador praised the communication channels set up by Israel and Russia based on last year's agreements between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"[The channel] has many manifestations, but it overall comes down to a direct communication channel set up between the defense ministries of the two countries. It allows for issues of mutual interest in the context of the situation in Syria to be discussed rapidly," Shein added, stressing that the Russian-Israeli relationship is exemplary of what should be done when resolving regional issues while respecting national interests.
The Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, when armed opposition groups rose up against the government of President Bashar Assad. The conflict has since grown in complexity and has given rise to a number of jihadist terrorist groups inside Syria. Russia began its anti-terrorist aerial campaign in September 2015 at the request of Assad.