February 10, 2018 / 8:07 PM / 15 days ago

Putin urges Netanyahu to avoid escalation in Syria: Ifax

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the situation in Syria in a telephone call on Saturday after heavy Israeli air strikes in the country, Interfax news agency cited the Kremlin as saying.

“They discussed the situation around the actions of the Israeli air force, which carried our missile strikes on targets in Syria,” Interfax quoted the Kremlin as saying.

Putin told Netanyahu there was a need to avoid any steps that would lead to a new confrontation in the region, Interfax reported.

Anti-aircraft fire downed an Israeli warplane returning from a bombing raid on Iran-backed positions in Syria earlier on Saturday in the most serious confrontations yet between Israel and Iranian-backed forces based across the border.

(The story is refiled to remove repeated word “Syria” in headline.)

Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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