Rus­sia: Iran’s pres­ence in Syria none of Is­rael’s busi­ness

Iran Daily - - National -

A se­nior Rus­sian of­fi­cial dis­missed the Is­raeli regime’s de­mand that Iran be forced out of Syria, say­ing that the is­sue is none of Tel Aviv’s busi­ness as it is Syria’s sov­er­eign right to au­tho­rize Ira­nian forces on its soil.

“Syria is a mem­ber of the United Na­tions,” Rus­sian Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Mikhail Bog­danov said, adding that the Arab coun­try “has equal rights” over its self­de­ter­mi­na­tion with Rus­sia, the US and any other mem­ber of the UN, Press TV re­ported.

“This is a sov­er­eign coun­try led by a le­git­i­mate govern­ment. It can agree on co­op­er­a­tion with any other coun­try, in­clud­ing Iran and Rus­sia,” he noted in an in­ter­view with the Is­raeli TV chan­nel I24NEWS re­leased Thurs­day night.

“That’s Syria’s sov­er­eign right, and it’s not the busi­ness of a third party to in­ter­vene in these sub­jects of pol­i­tics or pol­icy of a sov­er­eign coun­try,” said Bog­danov, who is also Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin’s spe­cial en­voy for the Mid­dle East.

He added that Moscow had al­ready ex­plained to Is­rael and the US that “this is a sov­er­eign de­ci­sion for Syria who should be on their ter­ri­tory.”

“They asked us and the Ira­ni­ans to be there. The Ira­ni­ans have said re­peat­edly on many lev­els that Syria asked them to help them in the fight against ter­ror­ists, and when Mr. As­sad tells them that their mis­sion is ac­com­plished and they are no longer needed, they will leave Syria, just like us.”

Iran has been of­fer­ing mil­i­tary ad­vi­sory sup­port to Syria at the re­quest of the Da­m­as­cus govern­ment, en­abling its army to speed up its gains on var­i­ous fronts against ter­ror out­fits.

How­ever, over the past few years, Is­rael has fre­quently at­tacked mil­i­tary tar­gets in­side Syria in an at­tempt to prop up ter­ror­ist groups that have been suf­fer­ing de­feats at the hands of Syr­ian govern­ment forces.

In the lat­est Is­raeli airstrikes on Syria a few weeks ago, a Rus­sian Il-20 plane was mis­tak­enly shot down by Syr­ian air de­fenses in Latakia Prov­ince, north­west­ern Syria. The Syr­ian S-200 mis­sile de­fense sys­tem was re­spond­ing to a wave of strikes by four Is­raeli war­planes.

Moscow blamed Tel Aviv for the in­ci­dent, which killed all 15 peo­ple on board, say­ing the Is­raeli war­planes had de­lib­er­ately “cre­ated a dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion” that led to the crash.

Shortly af­ter the at­tack, Rus­sia de­liv­ered a mod­ern ver­sion of its S-300 mis­sile de­fense sys­tem to Syria in a bid to pre­vent sim­i­lar in­ci­dents in the fu­ture.


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