(JTA) — Russia summoned its ambassador to Israel for clarifications following Israeli airstrikes in Syria.
Russia, which backs Syria’s embattled president, Bashar Assad, summoned its envoy, Gary Koren, on Friday less than 24 hours after the Israeli military action on Thursday night, according to The Times of Israel.
In a rare statement, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed to having carried out aerial strikes in Syria and intercepted missiles launched at its aircraft from the ground.
No Israelis were hurt during the strikes Thursday night or from the anti-aircraft fire, according to a statement by the IDF spokesman.
Israel is believed to have carried out several attacks on Syrian soil in recent years, but usually refrains from confirming or denying reports on its alleged actions there.
According to the nrg news site, the strikes were against targets affiliated with Hezbollah, possibly on a weapons shipment to the Shiite terrorist group, which is based in Lebanon but is fighting in Syria alongside Assad’s forces against rebels and Sunni militants.
Israeli “aircrafts targeted several targets in Syria. Several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria following the mission and IDF Aerial Defense Systems intercepted one of the missiles. At no point was the safety of Israeli civilians or the IAF aircraft compromised,” the IDF spokesman wrote.
The missiles were launched at the airplanes minutes after they had left Syrian airspace, according to nrg. Debris from the missiles, which were intercepted by the Arrow defense system over Jordan, landed on residential homes in the west of that country near Inba and Irbid.
The Syrian media reported that the country’s Defense Ministry claimed that one Israeli plane was downed and another was damaged from anti-aircraft fire. A ministry statement also vowed “a harsh response against the Zionist regime by all means available.”
After Israeli attack in Syria: Russia summons Israel’s envoy for clarifications
Barak Ravid Mar 17, 2017 8:52 PM
Israel’s ambassador to Russia has been called in by the Russian Foreign Ministry for clarifications Friday after Israel’s air force attacked in Syria overnight, a statement by Moscow said. The Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed the statement.
Ambassador Gary Koren, who filed his letter of credence to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, was called in for a talk with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov on the recent developments in Syria, a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
It is relatively rare for Israeli ambassadors to be summoned for such a talk in the wake of air force action in Syria. Since Russian forces entered Syria two years ago, a number of attacks attributed to Israel have taken place, but in none of the cases was the Israeli envoy to Moscow asked to give clarifications.