Undated photo shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: AFP
Tel Aviv, September 26 (RHC)-- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Tel Aviv will continue to carry out military operations in Syria, two days after Russia held the occupying regime fully responsible for downing one of its reconnaissance aircraft off a Syrian coast last week.
The Israeli premier made the provocative remarks on Tuesday before boarding a flight to New York, where he will address the United Nations General Assembly, claiming that Tel Aviv would adopt the measures to prevent Iran from increasing its presence in the Arab country. “We will continue to act to prevent Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and we will continue the military coordination” between the Israeli military and that of the Russia, said Netanyahu at the airport.
His comments came as Iran, at the official request of the Syrian government, has been offering advisory military assistance to the Arab country, which is fighting an all-out foreign-backed militancy during the past seven years. Russia, too, has military advisers in Syria, besides carrying out aerial bombardments on behalf of the Syrian government since September 2015.
The support by Tehran and Moscow has enabled the Syrian army to speed up its gains on various fronts against Takfiri militants. On the contrary, Israel has frequently attacked military targets in Syria during the past several years in what is considered as an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces. It has also been providing weapons to anti-Damascus militants as well as medical treatment to the Takfiri elements wounded in the Arab country.
On Sunday, Major General Igor Konashenkov, the chief spokesman for the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, held the Israeli military fully responsible for downing a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft off a Syria’s Idlib coast by the Arab country’s S-200 missile defense system on September 17.
Based on a detailed account of the tragic event, he added that an Israeli F-16 jet practically deceived the Syrain radar system after it hid behind the Russian reconnaissance plane, showing it as a group of Israeli jets on the Syrian radars, effectively used the big aircraft as a “shield.” Russia says it will supply Syria with a modern S-300 system within two weeks and block the communication of planes bombing the country from the Mediterranean.
The plane crash which killed 15 Russian servicemen prompted Kremlin to press ahead with its earlier plan to deliver the modern S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria within two weeks in a bid to boost the Arab country’s air defense capabilities and take “adequate retaliatory measures”.
The move by Moscow has deeply worried the Israeli regime, as a more advanced anti-aircraft system used by the Syrian army would greatly increase the likelihood of the downing of invading Israeli warplanes over Syria’s airspace.
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