Issues

Israel says Russians fired at its jets over Syria in May in “one-off”

Israel said on Tuesday that its military jets came under Russian anti-aircraft fire over Syria in May but they missed their target, describing the confrontation as a “one-off incident”.

The disclosure by Defence Minister Benny Gantz came amid tensions between Israel and Russia over the former’s condemnation of the Ukraine war and the latter’s scrutiny of a Jewish emigration agency.

Having helped Damascus turn the tide of a more than decade-old civil war, Russian forces in Syria regularly turn a blind eye to Israeli air strikes against suspected Iranian-sponsored deployments and arms transfers.

But Israel’s Channel 13 TV reported that, on May 13, a Russian-operated S-300 air defence battery fired on Israeli jets as they carried out a Syria sortie – without hitting any.

“It was a one-off incident,” Gantz told a conference hosted by Channel 13, when asked to confirm the report. The Russian launch happened when the aircraft “were no longer around”, he said.

Read More: Reuters