Bombs Over Damascus: Has Israel Crossed a Russian Red Line in Syria?

Friday, citing Russian sources the Palestinian-run, London-based, pan-Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that Russia has told Israel it will not tolerate further air strikes near the Damascus International Airport:

According to the report, which cited Russian sources, Moscow has told Jerusalem that it intends to renovate the Damascus International Airport, and that further attacks by Israel will not be welcomed.

The Russians say that the air strikes are causing airlines from the region that want to resume operations in Syria to reconsider their decision.

However, instead of this bringing calm, Israel instead launched a yet another series of attack around Damascus and against its main airport:

For two days in a row, Israel Defence Forces have been carrying out strikes on what the IDF claims are Iranian targets in Syria.

The Russian military has announced that tSyrian air defences had destroyed over 30 cruise missiles and guided bombs, when repelling an Israeli strike.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the Israeli strike killed four Syrian servicemen and injured 6 others. In addition to this, the air raid has "partially damaged the infrastructure of the Damascus international airport", the statement says.

The announcement comes shortly after the IDF press service announced that Israel had targeted alleged "military facilities of [Iranian unit] Quds Force in Syria, including weapons depots, mainly in the area of Damascus International Airport, Iranian intelligence center, Iranian training camp" in response to a missile strike in disputed Golan Heights. According to the IDF, during the raid, dozens of Syrian anti-aircraft missiles were fired, despite an unequivocal warning not to allow open fire.

Following earlier Syrian TV reports after Damascus had been rocked by powerful blasts, a Syrian military source told Sputnik that Syria’s air defences were able to shoot down a significant part of Israeli guided missiles.

So there are two possibilities. Perhaps Al-Quds, misunderstood its sources or just plain made up the story, or else the Israelis intentionally launched a second series of strikes just to show they will not respect any Russian red lines.

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