Assad says Russia could play role to prevent Israeli attacks on Syria

2017-03-20 22:39:51 GMT2017-03-21 06:39:51(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

DAMASCUS, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Monday that his Russian allies can play a role in preventing any further Israeli attacks on Syria.

Speaking to Russian media outlets on Monday, the president said that defending the Syrian borders is the right and duty of the Syrian army, "and if we don't do that, the Syrian people will blame us and hold us responsible."

"I think that Russia can play an important role in this regard (preventing Israeli attacks on Syria) and the policy of Russia relies entirely on the international law and the charters of the UN, and thus they can discuss these matters with the Israelis according to these standards and they (Russians) can play a role in preventing Israel from attacking Syria again in the future," Assad said.

His remarks came just days after the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that an Israeli airstrike targeted a car in the Syrian Qunaiter province, killing a man inside.

The Observatory stopped short of identifying the target, but Israeli media said he was a senior officer in Syria's air defense system.

The Syrian side didn't comment on the incident, which came just days after the Syrian army announced last Thursday it had shot down an Israeli warplane, which was part of a four Israeli war jets carrying airstrikes on Syrian military positions in the eastern countryside of the central province of Homs.

At the time, the Syrian army repeated its accusation of Israel of supporting the terror groups in Syria, while the later said it was targeting a weapon shipment belongs to the Shiite Hezbollah group.

Those attacks were not the only ones.

On Monday, a Syrian military source told Xinhua that the Syrian air defenses shot down an Israeli drone over Qunaitera on Monday.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the downed drone was a Sky Lark drone.

Following last Thursday's attack, the Russian foreign ministry summoned the Israeli ambassador in Moscow, a sign of that the Russian dismay of the strikes, which targeted an area in eastern Homs countryside near Palmyra city, where the Russians have military posts.

The new tension also pushed Israel to issue an outright threats.

Israel "will not hesitate" to destroy Syria's air defense systems if that country ever again targets IAF jet fighters, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman threatened on Sunday.

Observers in Damascus slammed the Israeli remarks as "outrageous."

"Do they really expect to keep violating our airspace and targeting our military posts and we stay quiet? I think the UN must put an end to these acts," Ahmad Ashqar, a Syrian journalist, told Xinhua.