image Photo: Flash90, Reuters

Russia ‘concerned’ over alleged IDF strikes on Syria

Unidentified aircraft fired missiles at the Damascus International Airport a week ago, causing the suspension of all incoming and outgoing flights until further notice.

By Erin Viner

The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accused Israel of responsibility for the attack. The Kremlin, one of Assad’s most powerful allies, has been militarily involved in the Syrian Civil War since 2015 to help turn the tide in Assad’s favor against insurgents.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with Israeli Ambassador Alexander Ben Zvi in Moscow to discuss the strikes, which he clearly blamed on the Jewish State.

“Serious concern was again expressed over the June 10 Israeli air force attack on the civilian airport of Damascus, which damaged the runway, navigation equipment and buildings, and disrupted international civilian air traffic,” said a Russian Foreign Ministry after the meeting.

After being informed that “the justification received from the Israeli side regarding the strike” was “unconvincing,” the statement underscored that “Moscow expected additional clarification.”

The two countries established a a “deconfliction mechanism” to prevent inadvertent clashes between their militaries in Syria amid frequent alleged IDF strikes against Iranian deployments and arms transfers to its proxies in the neighboring Arab Republic.

An Israeli military spokesperson declined to comment on the 10 June strike, but Jerusalem has previously acknowledged an ongoing campaign against Iranian-linked targets in Syria, where Tehran-backed forces, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror organization, have deployed to help Assad.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the Israeli attack had targeted “warehouses of Iranian militias” near the airport.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian condemned the attack as a “clear violation of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity… (and) contrary to international law and human principles” during a telephone call with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad, according to the Islamic Republic’s official media.

Israel, whose main ally is the United States, condemned Russia’s 24 February invasion of Ukraine as “a serious violation of international order,” but has since remained largely muted on Moscow’s actions.

When asked about prospects for continued coordination with Russia over Syria, the Israeli Defense Forces underscored that it “will act when needed to counter threats, defend the people of Israel and our sovereignty.”