Russia formally reprimands Israel over Syria strike

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that Russia does not want Syria to be turned into a battle site for foreign countries.

 A view shows damage at Damascus International Airport, Syria, in this handout released by SANA on June 12, 2022.  (photo credit: SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
A view shows damage at Damascus International Airport, Syria, in this handout released by SANA on June 12, 2022.
(photo credit: SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Russia reprimanded Israel’s ambassador over an airstrike at the airport in Damascus.

Russia's reprimand

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov summoned Israeli Ambassador to Russia Alex Ben-Zvi for the strike, which took place on June 10.

Bogdanov said that Russia does not want Syria to be turned into a battle site for foreign countries.

Moscow “expressed its serious concern once again over the Israel Air Force strike on the Damascus Airport, which damaged the landing runway, navigation equipment and structures and caused damage to international civilian air traffic.”

Moscow “expressed its serious concern once again over the Israel Air Force strike on the Damascus Airport, which damaged the landing runway, navigation equipment and structures and caused damage to international civilian air traffic.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov
 A plane carrying Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian lands in Damascus International Airport, in Damascus, Syria March 23, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/FIRAS MAKDESI) A plane carrying Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian lands in Damascus International Airport, in Damascus, Syria March 23, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/FIRAS MAKDESI)

Bogdanov said he was not convinced by Israel’s explanations and expects further clarifications, including via the existing deconfliction mechanism between Jerusalem and Moscow over such strikes.

The attack itself

Satellite images showed significant damage to runways at Damascus International Airport after Israel allegedly targeted the site last week.

 Significant damage to runways at Damascus International Airport after alleged Israeli strikes targeted the site (credit: IMAGESAT INTERNATIONAL) Significant damage to runways at Damascus International Airport after alleged Israeli strikes targeted the site (credit: IMAGESAT INTERNATIONAL)

The satellite images showed three impact craters on both the military and civilian runways, rendering them inoperable.

Syria’s state-controlled SANA news agency claimed that Israel carried out strikes against targets south of Damascus around 4:20 on Friday morning, wounding one person and causing material damage.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the airstrikes soon after, saying such actions put civilian airlines and civilians in danger.

Israel's airstrike history and policy

Israel has warned repeatedly about Iran’s nuclear ambitions as well as aspirations of regional hegemony.

It has admitted to hundreds of airstrikes as part of its “war-between-wars” campaign to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon and the entrenchment of its forces in Syria, where they could easily act against the Jewish state.

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.