Russian President Vladimir Putin applauds during the presentation of the CIS Badge of Honor at the meeting of the heads of state of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) at the Ala-Archa state residence in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 13 October 2023. EFE/EPA/IGOR KOVALENKO

Putin warns of ‘unacceptable’ civilian casualties if Israeli forces enter Gaza

Moscow, Oct 13 (EFE).- Russian president Vladimir Putin warned Friday of “unacceptable” civilian casualties if Israel carries out a ground operation in the Gaza Strip.

“The ground operation in Gaza and the use of heavy weapons in residential neighborhoods will have serious consequences for all parties,” Putin said at a summit of the leaders of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Bishkek.

According to the Russian president, “casualties among the civilian population will be absolutely unacceptable,” stressing that Gaza is home to over two million people.

Israeli armoured personnel carriers (APCs) maneuver at an area along the border with Gaza, southern Israel, 13 October 2023. EFE/EPA/ATEF SAFADI

The outbreak of violence in the Middle East is a “great tragedy”, Putin said, who blamed a failure of US policy in the region for the latest crisis.

“The great tragedy that Israelis and Palestinians are now experiencing is the direct result of the failed US policy in the Middle East,” the Russian leader insisted, saying Washington and its European allies had failed to consider the “fundamental interests of the Palestinian people.”

At the same time, Putin acknowledged that Israel has “the right to defend itself” against the “cruelty” of Hamas’ unprecedented attack.

“The main thing now is to stop the bloodshed,” he added and assured that Russia believes the conflict should be resolved through negotiations. EFE