Putin calls on Netanyahu not to take any ‘destabilizing action’ on Syria

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called on Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to take any action that could further destabilize the situation in Syria, following Israeli strikes against a regime military base on Monday.

In a telephone call, Putin urged Netanyahu “to abstain from any action that could further destabilize the situation in the country, which would represent a threat to its security,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin “stressed the importance of respecting Syria’s sovereignty,” and the two leaders “discussed recent Israeli air strikes against the T-4 air base,” the statement added.

Netanyahu’s office also released a statement saying that “the Prime Minister talked by telephone with the Russian President Vladimir Putin this evening" and the Israeli leader "reiterated that Israel will not allow Iran to establish itself militarily in Syria”.

Syria’s T-4 military airbase, in the central province of Homs, was hit by an air strike on Monday. The attack left 14 people dead, including seven Iranian soldiers.

Iran is a key ally of the Syrian government, alongside Russia. All three countries have blamed Monday’s air strike on Israel.

Israel is believed to have carried out numerous raids inside Syria since 2013.

The T-4 base had already been targeted by Israeli air raids in February, in retaliation for a drone sent to its territory by Iran.

Russia is the biggest ally of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s regime and warned against strikes, notably by the United States in reprisal for an alleged chemical attack against rebel-held Douma that has sparked international outrage and “could destabilize the already fragile situation in the region”, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

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