Russia accuses Israel of threatening civilian planes

Russia accuses Israel of threatening civilian planes

An explosion in Syria after being hit by Israel. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

By Elena Teslova

Moscow  (Antara/Anadolu-OANA) - Russia`s Defense Ministry on Wednesday accused the Israeli Air Forces of striking civilian airplanes landing at the Damascus and Beirut airports.

Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said six Israeli F-16 fighter jets used 16 air GBU-39 air bombs in the attack on Tuesday night.

Fourteen bombs were destroyed by Syria`s air defense system but two hit the logistic center of a Syrian army brigade wounding three servicemen, he added.

"The provocative actions of the Israeli Air Forces on the evening of Dec. 25, 2018, when six F-16 aircraft, while in the airspace of neighboring Lebanon, struck the territory of Syria, creating a direct threat to two passenger aircraft.

"To prevent a tragedy, the use of the Syrian air defense and electronic warfare was limited, which allowed air traffic controllers in Damascus to divert the passenger planes from a dangerous area and send them to the alternate Hmeimim airport," Konashenkov said.

In September, a Russian Il-20 military plane was struck in a similar attack, killing 15 servicemen on board.

That day several Israeli F-16s entered Syrian airspace with a view to striking Syrian military targets in the northwestern Latakia province.

When Syria`s S-200 air-defense system responded to the breach, Israeli F-16 hid behind the Russian plane which was hit by a Syrian missile.

Shortly afterward, Moscow -- blaming Israel for the incident -- announced its decision to provide Damascus with the more advanced S-300 defense system.

 27-12-2018 08:50:24