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Ya’alon Says Russian Planes do not Intend To Attack Us; Why Should We Shoot Them Down?

Nov. 29, 2015 (EIRNS)—In an interview with Israel Radio today, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon referred to the barbaric act by Ankara in shooting down the Russian Su-24 on Nov. 24. He said,

"When we understood that the Russians were planning to act inside Syria, we immediately met—also the Prime Minister—with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, including the [Israeli] Chief of Staff and the Assistant Chief of Staff. We created an open channel for coordination so as to prevent misunderstandings, because Russian planes are not trying to attack us, and therefore it is not necessary to automatically, even if there is a mistake, to shoot them down,"

Times of Israel reported today.

He described the manner of Israeli-Russian cooperation with regard to Syria.

"From the beginning, of course, [the Russians] notify when they are nearing our territory; it’s part of the coordination channel, and we don’t hamper them from acting, and we don’t interfere as a policy. This is what happens in Syria and it’s good that it’s like that; they also don’t hamper us from flying and acting according to our interests."

On Nov. 28, Amos Gilad, director of the Political-Security Bureau in the Defense Ministry, said at a public event in Beersheba that Russia has breached Israeli airspace more than once since it began intervening in Syria, but that the close security coordination between Israel and Russia had prevented any incidents like the one on the Turkish-Syrian border last week.