In response to an Israeli airstrike in Syria last Tuesday, Russia threatened to respond to further Israeli action in Syria with surface-to-surface missiles against targets inside Israel. An Israeli military intelligence website reported that one such missile was already fired last week.
On Wednesday, Israeli authorities broke with protocol and confirmed that the IDF was responsible for an airstrike the previous night targeting three main sites that were actively involved in Iranian arms transfers to the Hezbollah. Among the weapons targeted by the Israeli strike were GPS-guided missiles.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov made a statement to the press on Wednesday that six Israeli F-16 jets carried out the attack, which he described as “provocative.” Konashenkov claimed that as the attack began, two Syrian civilian airliners were preparing to land in Damascus and Beirut. He claimed the IAF attack created a “direct threat” to the aircraft, forcing the Syrian air defense to curtail their response to the Israeli strike by not deploying electronic jamming or surface-to-air missiles.
Konashenkov said that despite their limited response, the Syrian air defenses shot down 14 of the 16 precision-guided bombs dropped by the Israeli jets. He said that the remaining two bombs hit a Syrian military four miles west of Damascus.
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