Russia tells Israel: Stop bombing Iran targets in Syria, we’ll take care of it

Russia’s foreign minister said his country doesn’t want Syria used “as a platform for the Iranian-Israeli strife.”

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Russia called on Israel Monday to let it know about threats to its security from Syria and allow Russia to defuse the situation instead of using Syria as a battlefield, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia had previously told Israel that they are willing to intervene on Israel’s behalf rather than have Israel strike at Iranian military targets in Syria.

“If Israel is really forced to respond to threats to Israeli security coming from the Syrian territory, we have told our Israeli colleagues many times: If you see such threats, please give us the information,” Lavrov said. Russia has a strong military presence in Syria helping to prop up Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad.

“So, our dear Israeli colleagues, if you have facts that your state is facing threats from the Syrian territory, report the facts urgently and we will take every measure to neutralize the threat,” Lavrov said, adding that Russia doesn’t want Syrian territory to be used as a base for attacks on Israel or “as a platform for the Iranian-Israeli strife.”

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For the past several years, Israel has warned both Syria and Iran that it would not tolerate any Iranian military presence in Syria that threatens the Jewish State.

Iranian political and military leaders have repeatedly stated that their goal is the “total annihilation” of Israel. Iran has been heavily arming Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syria and has sent forces to Syria to join Iranian-backed militias fighting for Assad.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has previously warned that any Israeli action in Syria “can’t pass without a reaction.”

“The Zionist entity will regret its actions. We will respond sooner or later with the resistance in Syria and Lebanon,” Velayati said in December of 2019.

Over the past several years, Israel has struck at Iranian military targets in Syria on many occasions, but does not comment on most of the attacks that foreign sources attribute to the IDF. The most recent attack last week attributed to Israel targeted weapons storage sites in Syria said to belong to Iran or its proxy militias.

The Turkish think tank Jusoor For Studies, which specializes in Middle East and Syrian issues, claimed in an article on its website that Syrian and Israeli officials met last month at the Russian air force base in Hmeimim, Syria, to discuss several issues, including Israel’s demand for Iran to pull out its militias from Syria.

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According to Jusoor For Studies, but not yet confirmed by any other source, the meeting was brokered by the commander of the Russian forces in Syria, Alexander Tchaikov, and Israel was represented by former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and Iranian-born Israeli arms dealer Ari Ben-Menashe.

While Israel wants Iranian forces out of Syria, Assad reportedly made several demands, including Syria’s return to the Arab League, getting financial aid to pay off Assad’s debt to Iran, financial assistance for Syria’s destroyed economy and dropping international sanctions against Syria and Assad.