President Bashar al-Assad expressed the hope that Russia will play a role in the fact that Israel never made any attacks on Syria. He stated this in an interview with Russian reporters on Monday, March 20.
“I think Russia can play an important role in this, because the whole policy of Russia is based on international law, it is based on the UN Charter and UN security Council resolutions. They (the Russian side) can discuss those issues with the Israelis based on these criteria, and they may play a role in the fact that Israel in the future more did not attack Syria,” Assad said (quoted by “Interfax”).
Assad said that border security is “the right and duty of the Syrian authorities,” therefore, Syria will continue to defend the border, despite Israeli threats. “We don’t have to ask this question (to defend or not to defend), regardless of whether the statements of the Israeli authorities or not. We don’t base our policies and decisions on their statements,” so the Syrian leader said Israel’s intention to destroy the Syrian air defense systems in case of attacks on Israeli planes.
The Supreme command of the Syrian army on Friday, March 17, said that Israeli planes attacked the goal at Palmyra. In response, they fired anti-aircraft missiles, causing one plane was shot down and another damaged.
Later, Israel denied the information about the downed plane. The military reported that none of the missiles did not reach the goal, in addition, one was even destroyed by the air defense systems of Israel. The Israeli military has promised to destroy Syria’s air defense in the case, if their aircraft are subjected to bombardment again.
Monday, March 20, the Russian foreign Ministry called the Israeli Ambassador to Moscow, Harry Coren to discuss the Israeli air strikes near Palmyra. According to the presidential special representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov, Moscow expressed concern about what happened in Syria.