Senior official: Israel has attacked Syria since Russian spy plane downed

Syria downed the Russian plane after an Israeli attack on an Iranian target.

October 29, 2018 17:58
1 minute read.
An Israeli air force F15 fighter jet.

An Israeli air force F15 fighter jet flies during an exhibition as part of a pilot graduation ceremony at the Hatzerim air base, southern Israel June 25, 2009. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)


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Israel has attacked targets in Syria since the downing of the Russian intelligence plane on September 18, a senior Israeli official said on Monday.

The official said that the military coordination with Moscow is continuing as it did before the downing of the plane, in which 15 Russian airmen were killed.

That incident, where Syria downed the Russian plane after an Israeli attack on an Iranian target, triggered a mini-crisis in ties between Jerusalem and Moscow, and led Moscow to transfer S-300 anti-aircraft missile batteries to Syria.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman alluded to continued Israeli attacks in Syria during a KAN Bet radio interview earlier this month, saying that just because you don’t hear something, doesn’t meant nothing is happening.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said three weeks ago that he would be meeting “shortly” with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation in Syria following the downing of the plane, may meet with the Russian leader in Paris at the end of next week.

Netanyahu is scheduled to fly to Paris on November 10 for two days to take part in events marking the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I. French President Emmanuel Macron has invited some 80 world leaders to attend, including Putin, Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump.

Soon after Russia became actively engaged in the Syrian civil war in September 2014, Netanyahu flew to Moscow to set up a deconfliction mechanism between Israel and Russia to prevent accidental confrontation between the two countries in Syrian skies. That mechanism worked well until the incident last month. Russia accused Israel of using their intelligence plane as cover in carrying out an attack near Latakia, something which Israel has flatly denied, saying it was a lack of professionalism that led the Syrians to accidentally shoot down the Russian aircraft.

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