Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday, 28 Shevat, addressed weekend events between Israel and Syria, the Israeli shooting down of an Iranian-built drone in Israeli airspace and Syria’s firing at and downing an F-16i.
The senior minister said, “We will respond to every provocation and we will continue to defend our security interests.
He continued, “I made a point of not speaking in recent days, for I feel this is not a time for speaking. This is a time for doing and I for one am trying to focus on doing.
Regarding the weekend events, Lieberman promised matters are being handled, “with determination and responsibility”, adding “permit me to paraphrase, this is not a time to bark but a time to bite and we will bite very strongly”.
After Russia sent the message to Israel not to take steps to undermine the situation, Lieberman makes it clear that contact with them is effective. “Even when we do not agree with them, the very fact that there is an open dialogue prevents unnecessary friction. It is clear that each side has its own interests. Each side sees the picture differently, but at the same time during the years of civil war in Syria, we managed to avoid direct friction.”
Asked about the United States’ performance in Syria and Lebanon, he said that the United States is acting in accordance with its interests, but added that “this is our most important strategic ally…. We are very pleased with the backing the US has given the State of Israel.”
‘Is Iran’s reliance on Syria already a fact on the ground’, the defense minister was asked by one of the journalists, and replied, “We will talk less and do what is necessary, and you will continue to deal with the interpretation. We are not commentators. We are responsible for doing.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)