Predictably, Israel is completely denying their planes were hit, for public relations reasons.
However, Russia was not happy with Israel’s reckless attacks last Friday, especially as they came on the heals of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow last week, where he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the regional security situation as well as conflicts in the airspace over Syria. Israel’s demands were that it would not stand for a Iranian military presence in Syria, or that of Hezbollah which Tel Aviv labels as “Iran’s proxies.”
After the Friday attack by Israel, its Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated that, “The next time the Syrians use their air defence systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation.”
According to Syria’s UN Envoy Bashar Jaafari, Putin has sent a message to Netanyahu that Israel’s free pass to disrupt anti-terror operations in Syria is over, and that.. Syria has a right to defend itself.
Russia’s position on Israel running airstrikes in Syria is clear: as there are Russian forces stationed in Syria, any unauthorized Israeli action is potentially putting Russian assets at risk.
Clearly, Netanyahu will have to rethink his calculus after the shock of someone actually hitting back at rogue state Israel…
Russia has sent a clear message to Israel that the rules of the game have changed in Syria and its freedom to act in Syrian skies is over, Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations said on Sunday night.
“Putin sent a clear message,” said Bashar Jaafari, speaking on Syrian television. “The fact is that the Israeli ambassador [to Russia] was summoned for a conversation only a day after he submitted his credentials , and was told categorically that this game is over.”
Syria’s use of anti-aircraft fire against Israel last Thursday night has changed the rules of the game, too, Jaafari said, adding that Syria will not stand idly by in the face of an Israeli threat.
He also claimed that when the civil war began in Syria in 2011, opposition militia groups sabotaged the anti-aircraft defense systems belonging to President Bashar Assad’s regime, giving Israel freedom to operate.
(…) Between Thursday night and Friday morning, Israeli fighter jets attacked several targets in Syria, triggering the most serious clash between Israel and Syria since the civil war erupted six years ago. In response to the airstrikes, the Assad regime’s aerial defense system fired several missiles at the jets. Israel’s Arrow anti-missile defense system was launched, shooting down one of the missiles north of Jerusalem. The incident forced Israel to admit for the first time that it had launched an aerial attack in Syria.
(…) In a separate incident, Syrian media reported Sunday that the commander of a militia fighting alongside the regime was killed in an Israeli airstrike around Quneitra, in the Golan Heights…