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April 22, 2016 8:00 pm

Russia Says Reports About Forces Firing at Israeli Planes Over Syria Are ‘Far From Reality’

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Planes from the Israeli Air Force. Russia denied reports that its forces fired at IAF planes over Syria. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israel Air Force jets. Russia denied reports that its forces fired at IAF planes over Syria. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – Russia has released a statement denying reports that a Russian aircraft intercepted an Israeli aircraft near the Israel-Syria border this week.

“I do not want to comment on Israeli media. The reports of the Israeli media outlets are far from reality in this case,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Sputnik News reported.

Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow this week was sparked by the plane incident. Netanyahu said his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin was “important for the national security of Israel,” and that Putin “proposed that the air force chief and his military secretary meet with the Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and a number of Russian generals.”

“During the meeting we made it clear that we have to maintain the air force’s operational freedom, and that was achieved. Some problems had arisen. Naturally there is always friction, and if it isn’t addressed, things can develop into something very serious. We saw it in a different sector [in the tensions between Russia and Turkey] and from the outset we wanted to prevent something similar. So I flew to Moscow about half a year ago, once Russian forces [began operating in Syria], because it was important to attain this coordination. And this coordination requires maintenance from the leaders. The fact that I brought the air force chief helped secure this very important coordination for the IDF,” Netanyahu said.

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