01:18 GMT +314 October 2019
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    People walk near a Syrian national flag at the President bridge in Damascus, Syria March 14, 2016

    Kremlin Calls for Respecting Syria's Sovereignty After Reports of Israeli Attack

    © REUTERS / Omar Sanadiki
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    It is necessary to respect the sovereignty of Syria and refrain from actions that lead to increased tensions in the region, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Thursday when asked about the Kremlin's reaction to reports about Israeli strikes in Syria.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, a large explosion erupted close to the Damascus airport with initial reports claiming that it was a result of an Israeli airstrike against a Hezbollah supply hub.

    "We continue to believe that all countries should refrain from any actions that lead to increased tensions in an already troubled region, and we stand for respect for the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic and for the Syrian Arab Republic to be a politically integral, single and sovereign state," Peskov said.

    Asked whether Israel had warned Russia beforehand about the strikes, the Kremlin spokesman said: "There are information exchanges via different channels between Moscow and Israel. Our general staffs are in the process of constant dialogue."

    ​Hostilities between Israeli and Syrian regularly escalate, with IDF planes hitting targets in Syria in response to cross-border fire incidents while also attacking groups it deems hostile inside the country, while Syrian forces have several times claimed to have shot down IDF aircraft violating the country's airspace.

    On March 17, Israeli warplanes attacked targets in Syria. Netanyahu claimed the strikes were aimed at preventing attempts to arm Hezbollah while Damascus said they targeted government troops near Palmyra. Damascus said the Syrian air defense shot down one and damaged another of the four Israeli planes though Tel-Aviv denied the loss of any aircraft.

    Hezbollah was established in the 1980s in Lebanon. Israel, as well as some other states, consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization.


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