Putin’s Intervention Ended the Israeli-Iranian Confrontation

Putin’s Intervention Ended the Israeli-Iranian Confrontation

Tuesday, 13 February, 2018 - 09:15
Russian President Vladimir Putin. (AP)
Moscow, Tel Aviv, London - Raed Jabr, Nazir Majli and Asharq Al-Awsat
Moscow continued on Monday its diplomatic efforts to contain the repercussions of the downing of an Israeli warplane and the massive air strikes on Syria, with Russian President Vladimir Putin acting like a “referee” to end the Israeli-Iranian clash.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov stressed that his country was working with “partners” to prevent the escalation of the dispute, and warned that the situation “should not be allowed to further deteriorate.”

Earlier on Monday, the Israeli Army told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet that about half of the Iranian-Syrian surface-to-air missiles were destroyed during the raids on Saturday.

It was reported that Israel “intended to continue destroying the rest of the missile launchers, but Netanyahu ordered a halt to the operation following a telephone conversation with Putin,” in which he was informed that Moscow opposes “the escalation and warns against harming its interests in Syria.”

Well-informed Israeli sources said that the impression prevailing among Israeli officials was that Putin had acted like the referee of the match, blowing the final whistle to end the confrontation between Israel and Iran and all the players obeyed his decision.”

Meanwhile, Bogdanov noted that Russia was exerting efforts to overcome differences that have recently emerged between Tehran and Ankara, adding that the three parties agreed to hold a meeting at the level of foreign ministers next month in Astana.

Bogdanov emphasized the importance of abiding by agreements signed on the de-escalation zones in Syria, adding that the extension of the agreements would likely be announced in the upcoming tripartite meeting.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that Russia’s remaining contingent in Syria had the necessary potential to deter terrorist activity.

“As far as terrorist attacks are concerned, everybody understood that those attacks could not be stopped overnight. But the Russian air force, which is tasked with continuing to help the Syrian regime forces in fighting terrorism, has the necessary potential to keep suppressing terrorist activity,” Peskov told reporters.

He also reiterated Russia’s ongoing diplomatic efforts on Syria.

“This is the continuation of the Astana and Sochi efforts. As you know, the president continued regular contacts with his colleagues from Turkey and Iran in recent weeks. This work will continue,” he said.

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