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Zelensky backs Israel

The Ukrainian president has likened Iran’s tactics to those of Russia, accusing Tehran of threatening the Middle East

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has condemned Iran’s missile and drone strikes against Israel on Saturday, drawing parallels between Tehran’s actions and Russia’s tactics in Ukraine.

Iran said the barrage was in retaliation for the “Zionist regime’s numerous crimes, including the attack on the consular section of Iran’s Embassy in Damascus.”

A presumed Israeli airstrike destroyed Iran’s consulate in Damascus, Syria on April 1, killing seven officers of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, including two high-ranking generals.

According to Iranian state media, Saturday’s strikes hit a number of Israeli military facilities. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that its air defenses intercepted nearly all of the incoming projectiles.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, President Zelensky wrote that “Ukraine condemns Iran’s attack on Israel.” The Ukrainian head of state added that his compatriots “know very well the horror of similar attacks by Russia, which uses the same Shahed drones and Russian missiles, the same tactics of mass air strikes.”

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Joe Biden (L) meets with Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel, October 18, 2023
Netanyahu called off retaliation strikes after speaking to Biden – NYT

Kiev and its Western backers have repeatedly claimed that Iran has been providing Russia with its kamikaze UAVs, and that Moscow has begun producing them under license. Russia has never confirmed these allegations.

Iran, however, did acknowledge in November 2022 that it had supplied Moscow with a “small number” of drones a few months before Russia began its operation in Ukraine.

In his latest statement, Zelensky accused Iran of posing a threat to the Middle East, claiming that there is “obvious collaboration” between Tehran and Moscow.

According to the Ukrainian leader, Iranian strikes on Israel on Saturday should serve as a “wake-up call to the free world,” which needs to deliver a “resolute and united response.”

In a thinly veiled reference to the political deadlock in the US that has seen Republican lawmakers block President Joe Biden’s foreign defense aid package for months now, Zelensky urged the US Congress to “make the necessary decisions to strengthen America’s allies at this critical time.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Ministry expressed concern over “another dangerous escalation in the region” and urged “all parties involved to exercise restraint.”

Responding to a call by Israel’s ambassador in Russia, Simona Halperin, to condemn Tehran’s actions, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed out that Israel has never once denounced Ukrainian strikes targeting Russian civilians.

On the contrary, Israeli officials have repeatedly expressed support for Kiev, the diplomat noted, suggesting that Moscow therefore has no reason to stick up for Israel.

April 15, 2024 at 01:43AM
RT

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