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Putin (L) Netanyahu
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Russia inquires Israel on Syria strike, calls it a 'dangerous development'
Russia calls Israeli-attributed airstrike on Syrian airbase a 'dangerous development,' says Israeli officials were asked to comment on it, as it was not coordinated with the Kremlin even though there may have been Russian military advisers at the base.

Russian defense and foreign ministers have inquired with their Israeli counterparts regarding the air strike on the Syrian T-4 airbase early Monday morning, requesting they provide "explanations" for the attack Moscow says Israel carried out without informing it ahead of time, Senator Vladimir Jabbarov told Iranian media Monday.

 

 

Russian officials have stated they believe Israel coordinated with the United States instead, Al Mayadeen reported.

 

Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters Monday that the air strike "was a dangerous development," stressing he hopes the US "understands" this, according to Russian news agency Interfax. He then added there is no need to open an investigation in order to ascertain who is responsible for the attack, which activists said killed at least 14 people.

 

Russian President Putin (L) and PM Netanyahu (Photo: EPA)
Russian President Putin (L) and PM Netanyahu (Photo: EPA)

Israel has not yet confirmed nor denied it mounted the attack.

 

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, told reporters on Monday that Israel had not spoken to the president ahead of the air strike even though there may have been Russian military advisers at the base, which he described as "a cause for concern for us."

 

Peskov affirmed reports of an alleged poison gas attack in the suburbs of the Syrian capital needs to be investigated but said it was "wrong and dangerous" to draw any conclusions before a probe is completed.

 

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), at least 14 military personnel, including Iranians, were among those killed in the strike that took place shortly before dawn. Three of those killed were said to be military officers, but it was not immediately clear whether they were Iranian or Syrian.

 

The Iranian Fars News Agency reported that at least three were Iranian military servicemen. 

 

Russian foreign Minister Lavrov (Photo: EPA)
Russian foreign Minister Lavrov (Photo: EPA)

 

According to a Russian news agency report, the Russian military said that two Israeli war planes carried out the attack from Lebanese airspace with eight missiles, five of which it said that the Syrian air defense system had shot down.

 

Israel has struck Syrian army locations many times in the course of the conflict, hitting convoys and bases of Iranian-backed militias that fight alongside Syrian President Bashar al Assad's forces. It had previously said Syria had allowed Iran to set up a complex at the base to supply its ally, the Lebanese militant Shiite group Hezbollah, with weapons.

 

The Israeli military last February accused Iranian-backed militias of operating at the base, from where it said an Iranian drone, shot down over northern Israel, had been launched.

 

Israel has long said Iran was expanding its influence in a belt of territory that stretches from the Iraqi border to the Lebanese border, where Israel says Iran supplies Hezbollah with arms.

 

T-4 airbase
T-4 airbase

 

Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed militias have a large military presence in Syria and are well entrenched in central and eastern areas near the Iraqi border.

 

The T-4 base has most recently been used by Iranian-backed militias. It was constructed in a strategic location next to Syrian gas fields and was controlled by the Islamic State until President Bashar al-Assad’s army moved in, supported by Russian forces.

 


First published: 04.09.18, 16:20
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