Russia objects to ‘arbitrary’ Israeli airstrikes on Syria
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Russia objects to ‘arbitrary’ Israeli airstrikes on Syria

“As for recent Israeli strikes, we have stated that such arbitrary attacks on a sovereign state must stop,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin, apparently referring to Israeli airstrikes against Syria in January, Russia’s TASS news agency reported on Friday. “Any attacks additionally worsen the situation,” the Russian diplomat said, adding that, “No one’s actions in Syria can go beyond the fight against terrorists.” Israel often claims that it conducts airstrikes targeting “Iranian assets” in Syria. Iran and Russia are both Syrian government allies but merely have military advisers in the Arab country to help it fight a terrorist campaign that is largely subdued. Russia has also conducted aerial bombings of terrorist positions. In mid-January, the chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) also said Iran would protect its advisers in Syria. Last September, a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft was shot down and all the 15 servicemen on board were killed during Israeli airstrikes in the northwestern Syrian province of Latakia. Moscow said the Tel Aviv regime was fully responsible for the incident and started procuring Russian S-300 missile defense systems for Syria. The comments by Vershinin, the Russian deputy foreign minister, echoed statements made earlier by Russia’s Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov. An Israeli satellite imaging company recently indicated that the Russian S-300 missiles in Syria had become operational.

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