Russia: Israel endangered Syrian civilian airliner

Russia has accused Israel of endangering a civilian airliner carrying 172 passengers and crew, in the course of an aerial strike on targets in Syria, which it ascribed to the Israeli Air Force.

This morning Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov revealed that yesterday’s alleged Israeli bombardment coincided with the attempted landing of the civilian jetliner at the Damascus International Airport. In light of the Syrian attempt to repel the Israeli attack, the civilian airliner was forced to land at the Hmeimim air base in the northwestern Latakia Governorate, operated by the Russian Air Force.

The Russian Defense Ministry further alleged that it had become routine for Israeli Air Force aircraft to use civilian planes as a shield against Syrian air defense systems.

It is important to note that while the IDF refused to confirm, nor deny, its responsibility for yesterday bombardment in Syria; Russia and Israel maintain a coordination mechanism, in order to assure deconfliction between the two militaries. As part of this mechanism, Israel informs Russia approximately fifteen minutes prior to its execution of any offensive operations in its northern neighbor, Syria.