by WorldTribune Staff, April 12, 2018
Russian President Vladimir Putin in an April 11 phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asked the Israeli leader to avoid taking any steps that would further destabilize Syria.
“Putin stressed the fundamental importance of respecting the sovereignty of Syria, called for refraining from any actions that might further destabilize the situation in this country and pose a threat to its security,” the official Russian Sputnik news agency reported.
Sputnik said the call, which it reported was initiated by Netanyahu, addressed “the Syrian issue … including in connection with the recent missile strikes on the T-4 airfield in Homs by the Israeli Air Force.”
At least seven Iranian personnel were killed in the April 9 airstrike.
Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that the prime minister, in his conversation with Putin, “reiterated that Israel will not permit an Iranian military entrenchment in Syria.”
Israel has refused to comment directly on the T-4 attack, despite being blamed by Russia and Syria.
NBC News quoted two U.S. officials as saying that Israel had carried out the strike, adding that Washington was informed in advance.
Israel’s Channel 10 news reported that the Iranian death toll of seven may not be final. The report said Iran had lost “a significant asset” and perhaps “even an entire system” in the strike.
Several reports in the Israeli media said the target was a compound inside the T-4 base which was controlled by Iran and hosts a special Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) unit tasked with flying drones in Syria.