Netanyahu Denies Russia Said Hands Off Syria

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Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R) meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last June. (Haim Zach / GPO)

Following a report that Russia has warned Israel to discontinue airstrikes in Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told reporters Tuesday that he received no such message during his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Netanyahu, who is in China on a state visit, said that Israel’s policy has not changed. “If there is feasibility from an intelligence and military standpoint — we attack, and so it will continue,” he said.

The statement belied a claim made Monday by Syrian President Bashar Assad that he was counting on Russia to bring a halt to Israeli Air Force strikes aimed at interdicting arms shipments to Hezbollah, and that Russia had, in fact, told the Israeli ambassador to Moscow to desist.

Meanwhile, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot also affirmed that Israel will not be deterred from acting to “prevent terrorist groups from gaining strength or acquiring advanced weapons.”