Report: Russia fueled Israel-Syria tension

Aug. 30, 2007 at 12:51 PM
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JERUSALEM, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Russia was partly to blame for the heightened tension between Israel and Syria earlier this summer, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

During an interview with Army Radio, head of the Diplomatic-Security Bureau at the Defense Ministry, Israeli Gen. Amos Gilad, said Israel sent messages to Moscow pressuring the Russians to stop fueling hostility between the two countries.

"At a certain time, the Russians caused the Syrians to believe that Israel was preparing for war," Gilad said. "I think that they have stopped this. Syria is not planning on attacking Israel and Israel is definitely not planning on attacking Syria."

A report published in the Israeli daily, Ma'ariv, said diplomatic and security officials in the Kremlin purposely deceived Syria in hopes of maximizing their profits from the sale of military equipment.

"We explained to the Russians that they had to avoid incitement. We explained the truth, that we aren’t interested in attacking the Syrians. We also took the opportunity to express our concern over their involvement in the region, including the sale of weapons to Damascus, some of which reach other sources, like Hezbollah," Gilad told Ynet.

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