'Iran is inflaming the region'

Highly-placed source responds to Russian accusations that Israel's attacks on Syria destabilizing region.

Tzvi Lev,

Putin taciturn: Meeting with Assad (L)
Putin taciturn: Meeting with Assad (L)

A senior Israeli official responded to accusations by Russia's Foreign Ministry contending that Israel's attacks on Syria were destabilizing the Middle East.

"What undermines stability in Syria is Iranian aggression and its attempt to establish military bases in Syria in order to threaten Israel and other countries," said the unnamed official.

The remarks came after the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Israel's attacks on Syria "worsened Syria's stability".

Russia has blamed Israel for the predawn attack which killed at least 14 people at the T-4 airbase in central Syria earlier this week.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov criticized Israel for the raid, saying that the situation is at risk of “becoming too dangerous” with “actors whom nobody invited” getting involved inside Syria.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, also noted that Israel did not coordinate with the Kremlin prior to the attack, a fact he said was a “cause for concern” for Russia.

While Israel has yet to officially confirm, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu seemingly alluded to the attack during a speech on Monday, saying that Israel followed the dictum of “If someone tries to attack you – rise up and attack him”.

On Tuesday, the Russian government summoned Israel’s Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren in order to convey its displeasure over the strike. Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that Ambassador Koren was scheduled to meet with Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Mikhail Leonidovich Bogdanov, but denied that the meeting was irregular.

"Ongoing discussions are constantly held with the Russians and therefore the ambassador will today meet with Deputy Minister Bogdanov,” the Foreign Ministry said.

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