Vladimir Putin has warned Israeli PM Netanyahu to back away from Syria immediately, or face “dire consequences” as a result.
Following Israel’s air raids in Syria, Putin telephoned Netanyahu, urging him to “avoid any steps that could lead to a new round of confrontation dangerous to everyone in the region,” according to the Kremlin.
Rt.com reports: The Israeli Prime Minister meanwhile told the Russian leader that Israel will defend itself against any “Iranian threats” coming from the territory of Syria. Tel Aviv maintains it is vital to its national security to target Iranian interest in Syria as well as prevent potential arms shipments to Hezbollah.
“I reiterated to him [Putin] our right and our duty to defend ourselves against aggression against us from Syrian territory. We agreed the security coordination between our armies will continue,” Netanyahu said at a press conference on Saturday evening, where he blamed Iran for the Saturday’s incident.
Insisting that “Israel seeks peace,” the PM vowed that Israelis “will continue to defend ourselves with determination against any attack against us and against any attempt by Iran to establish a military presence against us in Syria or anywhere else.”
Netanyahu also announces that he spoke with the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson following the escalation of tensions. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, commenting on Israeli military action in Syria, stressed that the United States “strongly supports” Israel’s right to defend itself. “Iran’s calculated escalation of threat and its ambition to project its power and dominance, places all the people of the region – from Yemen to Lebanon – at risk,” she said, echoing Netanyahu’s remarks.
“I have been warning for some time about the dangers of Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria. Iran seeks to use Syrian territory to attack Israel for its professed goal of destroying Israel,” Netanyahu told the press conference.