Paper: Russia Curbs Israeli Flights near Syrian Skies

An Israeli newspaper reported that Russia has been taking a more forceful stance toward flights by Israeli aircraft near the Syrian border in the North.

Russia’s behavior, press tv quoted the Israel’s leading newspaper Haaretz as saying, is being interpreted in Israel as a response to the downing of an Ilyushin intelligence-gathering plane on September 17 at the end of an Israeli airstrike near Lattakia in northwest Syria.

“There have been several instances in which Russian air defense radars in Syria were activated in connection with Israel’s air force activity in the north,” Haaretz reported.

The Russians are demanding further clarifications from the Israeli military via the “hotline” that is meant to prevent any aerial clashes between the two parties, it said.

Moscow has blamed the downing of its aircraft on Israel, saying Israeli jets used the landing Russian plane as a “cover” which resulted in the Il-20 being struck by a Syrian air defense missile.

Following the incident, Russia delivered its S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system to Syria, saying it was aimed at ensuring the safety of Russian forces in the Arab country.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman said last week that Israel will continue its aerial incursions into Syria.

Israeli authorities have boasted that F-35 jets supplied by the US can beat S-300 in light of their alleged stealth capabilities, but no incursion has been reported since the deployment of the new missile defense system.


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