Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
In the second targeting of its kind this month of December, Israeli warplanes hit the container yard in the Syrian port of Latakia with several bursts of missiles launched from above the Mediterranean sea. This Israeli type of strike was rare in the past ten years of war and took place only twice in 2013, and once in 2014. What is remarkable is that the Israeli strike took place while a Russian plane was in the sky close to Latakia. That caused the impossibility of the Syrian air defence system to operate and limit the substantial damage inflicted on the port for fear of shooting down the Russian aircraft. This means that Israel took advantage of the Russian presence in the Syrian air space using it as a shield but struck the Russian reputation. Syria should be considered the Russian area of strategic influence. Consequently, by allowing the Israeli illegal strike and preventing the right of Syria to defend itself, Russia was harmed more than the Latakia container yard, notwithstanding the damage caused to the Syrian economy (already under heavy sanctions).
In February 2020, a Syrian Airbus 320 with 172 passengers was forced to land at the Russian airbase of Hmeimin, in north-western Syria, when Israeli jets attacked different objectives in Syria. Igor Konashenkov, an official Russian Defence Ministry spokesman, accused Israel of “using the presence of civilian airliners as a shield against Syrian anti-aircraft fire” during its unlawful attack on Syrian sovereignty.
In September 2018, Israeli F-16s attacked Syria while a Russian Ilyushin-20 was manoeuvring over the Mediterranean, close to the Syrian coast. The Syrian defences shot down the Russian plane, with 15 Russian officers on board, all killed instantly. At the time, Moscow accused the Israelis of hiding behind the Russian plane, and Moscow blamed Israel for the operation. The Russian losses necessitated new measures, which forced the Israeli military leadership to inform the Russian base of Hmeimim well in advance of each raid it was preparing to carry out. Russia brought S-300 missiles to Syria to wave the stick at Israel without handing over to the Syrian military leadership full authority to use the advanced anti-air missiles. Russia used to inform Iran and Syria of incoming Israeli attacks when Israel forwarded the
Subscribe or donate
Subscribe to get access
Read more of this content when you subscribe today.
Proofread by: Maurice Brasher