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.
“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.
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.”