Moscow calls for meeting with Israeli ambassador after T4 Airbase strike

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The Israeli ambassador to Moscow Gary Koren has been summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry to discuss developments in Syria following an air strike that Moscow and the Syrian regime have accused Israel of launching, a senior Russian diplomat said.

The Russian military said that Israeli fighter jets launched an air strike on Monday at T4 Airbase in central Syria, killing at least 14 people, including Iranians.

Israel has not commented on the raid so far.

Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian presidential envoy for the Middle East and Africa, told Russian news agencies on Tuesday that the Foreign Ministry had asked the Israeli ambassador in Moscow Gary Koren to come "to speak" later in the day.

In response to a question about the purpose of the meeting, Bogdanov said that Russian diplomats just want to talk about various issues related to the Syrian war, as well as bilateral relations.

Israel will not accept Iranian entrenchment in Syria

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday his country would not accept Iranian entrenchment in Syria after missile strikes on a Syrian regime air base blamed on Israel.

"We will not allow Iranian entrenchment in Syria no matter the price to pay," he told journalists. "We have no other option. Allowing Iran to strengthen itself in Syria is like accepting that the Iranians strangle us."

Lieberman did not confirm Israel carried out Monday's deadly strikes, which Syria and Russia blamed on Israel.

Israel has sought to avoid direct involvement in Syria's civil war, but it acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes there to stop what it says are advanced arms deliveries to its enemy Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite group that is backing President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

It has also repeatedly warned it will not accept its arch-foe Iran entrenching itself militarily in neighbouring Syria.

On Monday, Israel accused Syria of "crimes against humanity" over an alleged chemical attack on a rebel-held town, saying Assad's regime was responsible.

(With AFP)