09:55 GMT26 February 2020
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    Assad's threats to attack Israel are media provocation - Russian Foreign Ministry

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    A threat to attack Israel reportedly voiced by Syrian President Bashar al Assad is part of a media war against Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

    A threat to attack Israel reportedly voiced by Syrian President Bashar al Assad is part of a media war against Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

    Damascus would need "not more than 6 hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv," Iran's semi-official Fars news agency quoted the Syrian president as saying on Tuesday at a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

    Fars said the Syrian leader also threatened that "Iran will attack U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf and American and European interests will be targeted simultaneously."

    Russian Foreign Ministry slammed the reports, saying that these quotes were definitely made by "the forces interested in tarring Syria and its government's image...in order to justify intervention in Syria."

    Earlier on Wednesday Syrian ambassador to Moscow Riyad Haddad said that the Arab and international media were grossly distorting the situation in Syria and published "various insinuations, including the statements attributed to Syrian authorities that they had never made."

    The Syrian opposition and Western countries condemned Russia and China on Wednesday for vetoing a UN Security Council draft resolution urging the Syrian regime to immediately stop violence against protesters or face "targeted measures."

    Russia said the document was "unacceptable" because it contained a one-sided condemnation of the Assad regime and the prospect of sanctions, which could lead to foreign military interference in Syria.

    Moscow said it would strongly oppose any attempts to overthrow "undesirable regimes" under the guise of a UN mandate.

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