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Putin ‘worried’ by Israeli strikes in Syria

Russian leader expresses concern over artillery strikes on Assad’s forces despite security agreement reached with Netanyahu.



Yitzhak Benhorin

NEW YORK – Russia “must respect Israeli interests” in Syria, but is also “worried” regarding Israeli strikes in Syrian territory, said Russian President Vladimir Putin early Tuesday morning at a press debrief.

Putin’s comments came just two days after Israel fired artillery at Syrian government forces in retaliation to a rocket that landed in the Golan Heights in an apparent spillover from fighting across the border.

The incident was the first Israeli strike in Syria since Russian forces entered Syria and began constructing a forward operating base near Latakia meant to defend the embattled regime of President Bashar Assad.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Moscow last week to meet with Putin and said afterwards that the two had reached an agreement to prevent unwanted clashes or confusion between Russian and Israeli forces. Reports prior to the meeting said that Netanyahu would request that Israel maintain the freedom to strike in Syria at targets considered to be a security risk.


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