Published: Wed, September 26, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Netanyahu says Israel to keep fighting Iran in Syria, coordinating with Russian Federation

Netanyahu says Israel to keep fighting Iran in Syria, coordinating with Russian Federation

Moscow this week already announced that it will provide Syria its advanced S-300 air-defense systems. But the Russian military came out on Sunday, renewing the accusations against Israel. Earlier in the war, Russian Federation suspended a supply of S-300, which Israel feared Syria could use against it.

Russia, which entered the Syrian war in support of the government forces in 2015, has two military bases in Syria: the Khmeimim air base in the countryside of Latakia and a naval facility in the city of Tartus near Latakia.

The Russian reconnaissance plane was accidentally shot down by Syria's missiles aimed at Israeli planes over the Mediterranean Sea off Syria, killing 15 service members.

But he said there had been occasions when things had not gone smoothly, calling Syria's downing of the Russian plane "tragic". It also says United States forces will not leave Syria until Iran leaves.

Israeli and Russian military officials are scheduled to meet in order to address the growing rift between the two countries following the downing of a Russian spy plane by Syrian air defenses during an Israeli airstrike last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday.

"This has pushed us to adopt adequate response measures directed at boosting the security of Russian troops" in Syria, Shoigu said in a televised statement. Now, he said, "the situation has changed, and that isn't our fault".

"This, and the position of all the aircraft at the moment of the September 17 incident, proves that an Israeli jet was de facto using the larger Il-20 as a cover", Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov told journalists in a Monday briefing.

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Shortly before the downing, Israeli strikes had hit targets inside Syria, reportedly preventing an arms shipment to the Iranian-backed militant Hezbollah group.

The data also proves wrong the claims earlier made by the Israeli military.

"The S-300 is one of the world's most advanced and sophisticated anti-aircraft systems and yes it is a challenge for us", Oren said.

Russian Federation launched its campaign in support of President Bashar Assad in 2015, eventually turning the tide of war in favor of Syrian government forces.

Last week, Russian Federation and Turkey reached a deal to avert an offensive against Idlib, which is controlled by a mix of radical groups and Turkey-backed Syrian forces.

Hard-line armed groups have rejected the deal, saying it aims to strip the opposition of weapons and is a victory for Assad's government. The province is home to some 3 million Syrians, half of them displaced by violence in other parts of the country.

The Kremlin said Russia's decision was not targeted against anyone and only serves to protect Russian troops in Syria.

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