Russia Expresses Concern over Israeli Strikes in Syria

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Russia's foreign ministry expressed concern over Israeli missile strikes in Syria, urging the sides to avoid escalating the situation.

Russia Expresses Concern over Israeli Strikes in Syria

In a statement on Saturday, the ministry said "of particular concern is the danger of escalation of tension within and around de-escalation zones in Syria, the creation of which has become an important factor in reducing violence on Syrian soil."

"We urge all parties involved to exercise restraint and to avoid any actions that could lead to an even greater complication of the situation,” the statement added, AP reported.

“We consider it necessary to unconditionally respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other countries of the region. It is absolutely unacceptable to create threats to the lives and security of Russian servicemen who are in Syria at the invitation of its legitimate government to assist in the fight against terrorists," the ministry said.

Early on Saturday, Syria’s military targeted an Israeli F-16 fighter jet after it violated the Arab country’s airspace and conducted assaults on positions inside the Syrian territory.

The Israeli military confirmed that the warplane had gone down in northern parts of the occupied territories, and that the two pilots had been transferred to hospital after a safe evacuation from the jet.

The Israeli military further claimed that it had attacked positions inside Syrian territory after it intercepted an Iranian drone launched from Syria on Saturday.

Iran strongly rejected the claim as “ridiculous”, noting that such allegations do not merit a comment.

In a statement, the Syrian military described the aggression a "terrorist act," warning of "a tough and serious response."

The statement added that it was "a lie and misleading" to say the drone had entered Israel's airspace, stressing that the drone was on a regular mission gathering intelligence on Daesh militants in the central Homs province.

In a statement Saturday, Lebanon's Foreign Ministry also said it supports Syria's "legitimate" right to respond to Israel's "aggression."

The statement said such "aggressive policy" threatens stability in the region.

Lebanon urged concerned countries to "rein in" Israel.

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