Netanyahu warns Putin over transferring arms to ‘irresponsible hands’

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against delivering an air defence system to Syria amid a dispute over the downing of one of Moscow’s planes.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu said that transferring advanced weapons systems into irresponsible hands will increase the dangers in the region, and added that Israel will continue to defend its security and its interests,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement after a call between the leaders.

On September 17, Syrian air defences mistakenly shot down a Russian military plane following an Israeli raid in Syria, killing 15 people.

Moscow has blamed the friendly fire incident on Israeli pilots using the larger Russian plane as “cover”.

Russia announced new security measures to protect its military in Syria, including supplying the Syrian army with an S-300 air defence system and jamming radars of nearby warplanes.

Netanyahu told Putin Israel was sticking by its version of events and “reiterated that the Syrian military, which brought down the plane, and Iran, whose aggression is undermining stability, are responsible for the unfortunate incident”, the statement said.

Despite the dispute “it was agreed to continue the dialogue between the professional teams and the inter-military coordination via the military channels”, the Israeli statement said.

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