Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
World | By Ernestine Jimenez

Russian Federation summons Israeli envoy following IDF strikes in Syria

Russian Federation summons Israeli envoy following IDF strikes in Syria

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday threatened to destroy Syrian air defence systems after they fired ground-to-air missiles at Israeli warplanes carrying out strikes. Late past year, IDF troops operating in the disputed Golan region came under fire from militants of the ISIS affiliate Khalid ibn al-Walid Army, Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said. "Several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria following the mission and IDF (Israel Defence Force) Aerial Defence Systems intercepted one of the missiles", the military said in its statement, as cited by Reuters.

As to the Russian presence in Syria, Liberman said the last thing Israel wants is tension with Russia, but Israel values its own security above anything else.

In November 2012, Israel fired warning shots toward Syria after a mortar shell hit an Israeli military post, the first time Israel had fired on Syria across the Golan Heights since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

He warned that "every time we'll identify a smuggling attempt we will act to foil the shipment of tie-breaking weaponry".

The missiles triggered Israel's emergency sirens, which may have forced the army to issue a rare communique confirming the skirmish.

The Syrian army said that it had shot down one Israeli jet and damaged another, a claim that Israel denied.

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.

It comes less than 10 days after the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Moscow for talks with Vladimir Putin.

Syria accused Israel of supporting the Islamic State.

Israel and Syria are still technically at war, though the border had remained largely quiet for decades until 2011 when the Syrian conflict broke out.

Syria's Foreign Ministry wrote letters to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as well as the UN Security Council decrying such Israeli strikes as violating worldwide law and Syrian sovereignty.

Nevertheless, analysts said the incident represented a significant shift in Syria's response to Israeli airstrikes inside its territory.

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