Russia urges Syria not to respond to alleged attack

Senior Russian official reveals Moscow advised Assad not to respond to Israel’s alleged attack on its state’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, reassuring that if Iran increases its efforts to establish a foothold in the Golan, Russia will make sure to put a stop to it.

The official said Moscow advised Syria and Hezbollah “not to respond and concentrate on the big picture.”

The official also noted Russia is aware of Israel’s concerns of Iranian entrenchment in Syria, reassuring Moscow will make sure to prevent Tehran from establishing a foothold in the Golan Heights significant enough to pose a threat to Israel.

“If Hezbollah and Iran overstep their bounds in their involvement in Syria, we will suppress them,” the official said, adding that Russia is “aware of Israel’s concerns. They were made clear at the last meeting between (Russian President) Putin and (Israeli Prime Minister) Netanyahu.”

Senior officials in Moscow revealed that the main argument raised by Netanyahu and Mossad Director Yossi Cohen during their meeting with Putin was that Iran was working to significantly strengthen its hold on Syria.

To that end—according to intelligence information they presented to Putin—Iran is attempting to establish a permanent presence in Syria of the Revolutionary Guard Corps and Shiite militias from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition, the Islamic republic is building an exclusively contolled port in the Syrian coastal city of Tartus and is planning to build a missile factory in Lebanon.

“Iran’s long term plans do not include Russia, and the Iranians will try to get you out of there as well,” Netanyahu and Cohen told Putin, according to the Russian official.

A senior Russian official also praised the security coordination with Israel—especially the encrypted telephone line that was installed two years ago, which connects the Khmeimim Air Base in Syria, which is currently operated by Russia, and the Kirya underground Canary Air Force headquarters in Tel Aviv.

“Our forces’ ability to communicate immediately, without mediation, in direct conversation, saved us from serious mishaps that could have cost lives,” the official said.

Assisted with preparing the report: Yael Wissner Levy.
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One Comment

  1. Hello. I’m a special investigative correspondent Sophie Mangal. I’m a member of Inside Syria Media Center, mail me: [email protected]
    Having a lot of links (with poor Syrians, with some of refugee camps inside Syria and even with people in Aleppo and Syria civil defense organizations) I monitor the situation in Syria and Iraq, Aleppo, Raqqa and Mosul, the Middle East in general and write articles. Also I pay attention to the position of Kurds and Turkey and to fighting ISIS. I have some good sources. Sometimes the information is very interesting, I’m into the problem for a long time in fact. I can share the information in English if you would like so you could publish it and much more people could know about the situation now is going on. Also I compose a summary of armed clashes in Syria every week and try to analyze the changes. I really express concerns about the situation. And I think it would be great if we together could open the eyes of the world. It would be very kind of you if you write me your answer. Here is my latest article. I hope you will find it interesting. Your sincerely, Sophie Mangal.

    Ancient Temples of Maaloula Destroyed and Looted by ISIS are Being Restored In Syria

    May send you a lot of photos on the theme (before/after)

    In the Syrian city of Maaloula (Ma’loula) The Christian Church began to commence services in the Christian monastery of St. Thecla.
    The pilgrims from all around the world traveled to religious shrines before the war.

    It was almost completely destroyed and looted by ISIS and Al-Nusra Front. When under pressure from the Syrian Arab army the Retreating Islamists took everything valuable from the temples, including ancient icons, historical manuscripts, icon lamps and altar-cross, church furnishings, tombstones and other valuable items.

    The militants destroyed everything they could not hastily take along; some of the buildings were burned.
    Screenshot_2 (2)

    After the liberation under the support of the government of Syria the citizens of Maaloula started rebuilding churches, assembling church furnishings, religious books and other objects piece by piece.
    Maaloula will be restored no matter what it takes

    While in the city there is no influx of tourists and worshipers but locals are sure that people from all over the world, pilgrims, will be able to visit holy places again with the onset of peace and the creation of zones of de-escalation.

    But the Christians try not only to rebuild Maaloula, they try to rebuild the relationship between them and the Muslims shattered by ISIS.
    A Syrian priest reiterates the fact that Christians will strive to rebuild the trust that has been tainted by violence perpetrated by Islamic State. “We have to rebuild trust between Muslims and Christians even if it’s not easy,” said a Syrian priest Father Mtanios Haddad.
    Expressing optimism for a return to his homeland, he said: “We’ll be back, yes. We will return to Iraq, to Mosul, to Syria, to Maalula, to Beirut and to every place we have lived. They are our homes and our lands. So, what are we going to leave them for? To whom? To what civilization? We must go back and rebuild trust between ourselves little by little. Even if it’s not easy.”
    Father Haddad is a Syrian and represents the Greek-Catholic patriarch in Rome. According to him, presence of Christianity in the Middle East is not optional but a necessity. “I am convinced that coexistence will not end,” he said.
    “It should not end, because if it does, there will be no Christian presence. Without this presence, a new Jihad war could begin between a Muslim East and a Christian West. This Christian presence is what ensures the victory of balance and coexistence,” he explained.
    Screenshot_10 (2)
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    Ancient Maaloula before and after

    Maaloula is ancient city where most of the inhabitants speak the language of Jesus Christ, the Semitic Aramaic. It is located in the Rif Dimashq Governorate in Syria, 56 km to the northeast of Damascus, and built into the rugged mountainside, at an altitude of more than 1500 m. It is known as one of three remaining villages where Western Aramaic is still spoken, the other two being the nearby villages Jubb’adin and Al-Sarkha (Bakhah).

    There are two important monasteries in Ma’loula: the Eastern Catholic Mar Sarkis and Greek Orthodox St. Thecla.

    St. Thecla’s monastery

    The convent of St. Thecla holds the remains of Thecla, which the second-century Acts of Paul and Thecla accounts a noble virgin and pupil of St. Paul. According to later legend not in the Acts, Taqla was being pursued by soldiers of her father to capture her because of her Christian faith. She came upon a mountain, and after praying, the mountain split open and let her escape through. The town gets its name from this gap or entrance in the mountain. However, there are many variations to this story among the residents of Ma’loula.

    Mar Sarkis
    One of the oldest surviving monasteries in Syria. It was built on the site of a pagan temple, and has elements which go back to the fifth to sixth century Byzantine period. Mar Sarkis is the Assyrian name for Saint Sergius, a Roman soldier who was executed for his Christian beliefs. This monastery still maintains its solemn historical character.
    Mar Sarkis has two of the oldest icons in the world, one depicting the Last Supper.

    Other monasteries
    There are also the remains of numerous monasteries, convents, churches, shrines and sanctuaries. There are some that lie in ruins, while others continue to stand, defying age. Many pilgrims come to Ma’loula, both Muslim and Christian, and they go there to gain blessings and make offerings.
    May send you a lot of photos on the theme (before/after)

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