Russian FM: Israeli Strikes in Syria Will Increase Regional Tensions

Russian TAKEOVER in Middle East? US fears MISSILES may suppress key ally in Syria conflict

The United States said on Wednesday it hoped Russian Federation would continue to allow Israel to strike Iranian targets in Syria, despite Moscow's supply of the S-300 air defence system to the Syrian government.

Environmental Protection Minister Ze'ev Elkin, who is also co-chair of the Russia-Israel Intergovernmental Commission, told Russian media Monday that it was a "big mistake" for Moscow to supply its ally Syria with the S-300 missile system, because the advanced missiles, which are considered a significant threat to Israeli air power in the area, "might lead to destabilization of the situation".

Israeli leaders have vowed to continue carrying out strikes in Syria amid tensions with Russia over the downing of the Russian military reconnaissance plane, though no airstrikes have been attributed to Israel since the September 17 incident. Israel regards the Islamic republic as its most risky enemy and has staged repeated air raids against its military and allied militia deployed in Syria.

Although satellite images show the S-300s have been deployed in Syria, Israeli officials have said they are thought to not yet be operational.

Whilst Russia and Iran have backed the Syrian government in the civil war, Israel has joined the United States and other allies, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, in supporting rebel groups who oppose President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian forces were responding to an Israeli air raid against a suspected weapons depot linked to Iran in western Syria.

Moscow's announcement of providing the Syrian army with its S-300 missile defense system came on the heels of an incident that sparked a diplomatic crisis between Russian Federation and Israel.

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Lavrov also said that Moscow regrets that the Western countries rejected the idea of Russian President Vladimir Putin to create an worldwide counter-terrorism coalition under the auspices of the United Nations.

In October, Moscow equipped Damascus with the advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles, days after Israeli fighter jets attacking Syrian targets used a Russian surveillance plane flying nearby as a shield and misled the Syrian air defenses to shoot it down.

"Our immediate effort is to try to calm that situation down and then move on to a long-term solution". Israel has for all these years been doing everything it can to make sure Russian military personnel are not harmed.

Indeed reports have emerged that allege Israeli forces have conducted such operations since the II-30 downing.

Iran has said it will stay in Syria as long as Assad wants it to.

Turkey has staged two incursions into northern Syria since 2016 with a declared aim of curbing Kurdish militant groups.

Jefferey noted that forcing Iran to leave Syria was an objective of Trump's campaign of economic pressure against the Islamic Republic, which seeks to end Tehran's ballistic missile and nuclear energy programs while forcing it to roll back its regional influence. "Actions would undoubtedly take place, should (an attack) occur, against the launchers used to attack Israeli territory or Israeli planes", Elkin said.

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