Tuesday, March 26, 2019 | ePaper

Putin tells Netanyahu new spiral of violence in Syria should be avoided

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Tass, Moscow :
In a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the air strikes conducted by Israel's Air Force against targets in Syria, the Kremlin said on Saturday.
"The Russian side called for any steps, which might trigger a new spiral of dangerous for all confrontation in the region, to be avoided," the press service said.
In the meantime, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's press office said that Netanyahu agreed in a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin that interaction between the two countries' militaries would be continued. "I have recently spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin," Netanyahu said cited by his press office. "We agreed that security coordination between our countries will continue."
Putin and Netanyahu held a phone conversation amid a sharp deterioration of the situation on the Israeli-Syrian border after an Iranian drone had been shot down in the Israeli airspace and an F-16 fighter jet of the Israeli Air Force had crashed.
"I emphasized in the talk with him [Putin] that it is our [Israeli] right and duty to defend themselves from attacks from Syria," Netanyahu said.
On Saturday, the Israeli military said their helicopter downed above the Golan Heights an Iranian UAV, which had entered the Israeli airspace from Syria. In response, Israel conducted air strikes against Iranian facilities in Syria and destroyed the Iranian UAV control center.
During the operation, the Syrian air defense launched a few missiles to hit Israel's F-16. The pilots ejected - one of them was badly injured, while the other received minor wounds. After that, Israel delivered a heavy strike against Syrian air defense and Iranian facilities in Syria, hitting twelve targets in the neighboring country, Israel's Defense Forces said.
In the autumn of 2015, Israel and Russia agreed to exchange data in order to safeguard their militaries against any accidental engagements during operations in Syria. A special coordination center was set up at Israel's General Staff for the purpose.

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