Russia: Air strikes in Syria won’t solve Israel’s problems

“Military operations cannot resolve Israeli security concerns but will only help increase regional tensions,” Russia’s Lavrov said.

By Jack Gold, World Israel News

Israeli strikes against Hezbollah and Iranian targets in Syria will not resolve Israel’s security problems but will only increase tensions in the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said 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.

Lavrov said Israel endangered Russian troops in Syria by failing to give enough lead time prior to an attack, as agreed upon by the two countries.

He charged that “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.”

Israel currently maintains a channel with Russia to prevent military clashes in Syria, with Israel providing Russian forces a few minutes warning ahead of Israeli strikes.

A September 17th downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane by Syrian forces who were responding to an Israeli air strike, a friendly fire incident, stoked regional tensions.

Moscow deployed S-300 systems to Damascus following that incident, which it blamed on the Israeli Air Force, claiming that the Israeli jets used the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defense systems. The Israel Defense Forces said that Syria was at fault.

Former Israeli deputy chief of staff and ex-head of the National Security Council Gen. Uzi Dayan told Russian news site Sputnik last week that Israeli forces have no plans to target the S-300 air defense systems as long as the Syrian army does not use them to threaten Israel.

Israel maintains the batteries are not insurmountable, and says it will continue operations to prevent Iran from securing its presence in Syria.