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Russian FM: Israel should give us intel on Syria threats, we’ll neutralize them

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks out against Israeli airstrikes against Iran-linked sites in Syria, saying Jerusalem should instead provide Russia with intelligence about such threats and it would “neutralize” them.

“If Israel is really forced to respond to threats to the Israeli security coming from the Syrian territory, we have told our Israeli colleagues many times: If you see such threats please give us the information,” Lavrov says at a press conference, according to the Kremlin’s Sputnik news site.

The comments come a few days after Israel reportedly launched a large series of airstrikes on Iran-linked targets in eastern Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov listens to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during their talks in Moscow, Russia, December 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The Russian foreign minister adds that Moscow did not want Syria to be the battlefield for an Israeli-Iranian war. “So, our dear Israeli colleagues, if you have facts that your state is facing threats from the Syrian territory, report the facts urgently and we will take every measure to neutralize the threat,” Lavrov says.

In the past, Russia has used far harsher language to reproach Israel for its airstrikes against Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria.

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