Amos Gilad
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Syrian President Bashar Assad
Photo: AP

‘Russians not behind tensions with Syria’

Head of the Defense Ministry's political-security division dismisses reports blaming Russia for tension between Israel, Syria

“The Russians were not the main source in inciting and relaying information according to which Israel was planning to attack Syria in the summer,” Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry's political-security division, told Ynet Thursday.


“In the meantime, the messages we’ve passed on to the Russians saying we did not intend on attacking Syria have been received,” Gilad added.


He dismissed reports made Thursday morning, according to which Russia was a major factor in the growing tensions between Israel and Syria over the summer, saying they were exaggerated.


He did not, however, deny that Russia participated in the relaying of information that may have contributed to the rising tensions. “It’s only partly true. They weren’t the main factor. They thought that maybe Israel was about to attack, but at the moment, both sides – Syria and Israel – understand there is no such intention,” he said.


“We explained to the Russians that they had to avoid incitement. We explained the truth, that we aren’t interested in attacking the Syrians. We also took the opportunity to express our concern over their involvement in the region, including the sale of weapons to Damascus, some of which reach other sources, like Hizbullah.”


Gilad defined Israel’s current relationship with Syria as relatively calm, but added that Syria continued to support several terror organizations in the region.


פרסום ראשון: 08.30.07, 11:09
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