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Showing posts with label Israel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Israel. Show all posts

Israeli Army strikes Syrian military targets during air raid



Footage released by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) shows the moment a projectile hit Syrian positions and exploded during an air raid involving jets and helicopters on Sunday night.





Hot: Dating Russian Women: Hints For Western Men On How To Win Russian Lady's Heart.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQhp-NAMqhE
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[Video] Russia starts delivering S-300 anti-aircraft system to Syria despite Israel’s objection

Russia starts delivering S-300 anti-aircraft system to Syria despite Israel’s objection




A Russian soldier stands beside a Russian S-300 long range surface-to-air missile system in Kubinka, Russia, August 21, 2018. (Photo by Bloomberg)
A Russian soldier stands beside a Russian S-300 long range surface-to-air missile system in Kubinka, Russia, August 21, 2018. (Photo by Bloomberg)

A senior Israeli official has admitted that Russia's delivery of S-300 anti-aircraft missile defense systems to Damascus will pose a serious "challenge" to the regime.

Tensions have been rising between Moscow and Tel Aviv following the downing of a Russian warplane in Syria this month.

Related: [Video] 'Lavrov's patience tested one time too many': Russian FM blasts Western policy in UN speech

The official, whose name was not released in the Sunday report by the Times of Israel, said Tel Aviv was working on "different ways" to deal with Russia's recent move.

“The S-300 is a complex challenge for ... Israel. We are dealing with the [decision] in different ways, not necessarily by preventing shipment [of the anti-aircraft systems],” he said.

The official said Israel enjoyed the US support and reserved the right to protect itself, without elaboration.



"[Russian President Vladimir] Putin made a move, but it's a big playing field and he understands that," the official said.

Moscow vowed to bolster Syria’s air defense capabilities by sending modern S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to the Arab country within two weeks after the recent accidental downing of a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft.

The aircraft was shot down by Syrian air defenses while they were responding to a wave of Israeli airstrikes.

Russia's decision to provide Syria with the S-300 system infuriated Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describing it as “irresponsible.”

Related: Israeli Media in Total PANIC over Russian transfer of S-300 to Syria

Netanyahu told Putin in a phone conversation that Israel "will continue to do what it has to do to defend itself."

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday Russia has already started delivering the S-300 system to Syria as part of efforts to ensure the safety of Russian forces in the Arab country.

The Russian plane with 15 servicemen on board disappeared from radars on September 17 as four Israeli F-16 warplanes were attacking state institutions in Syria’s Latakia Province, which is home to Russia-run Hmeimim airbase.

Related: Russia Warns West Against New Strikes in Syria Under Far-Fetched Pretexts

Russia’s Defense Ministry held Israel responsible for the incident, saying the regime’s warplanes “created a dangerous situation” that led to the downing of the Russian aircraft by Syria’s S-200 missile defense system.

Israel frequently attacks military targets in Syria in what is considered as an attempt to prop up militant groups that have been suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces.

Source: https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/09/30/575638/Israel-Russia-Syria-missile
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Russia Warns West Against New Strikes in Syria Under Far-Fetched Pretexts


Previously, Moscow stated that terrorists in the rebel-held Syrian city of Idlib attempted to carry out provocations with the use of chemical weapons in order to create a pretext for international strikes against Syrian government forces.

Related: Israel’s Failed Attempt to Start WWIII Is the Beginning of the End in Syria
 
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned Western countries against new strikes on Syria. He also mentioned possible provocations with the use of biological weapons, noting that constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington is needed in order to strengthen the non-proliferation regime.

"There's an alarming situation regarding the issue of chemical disarmament. First of all, this is in connection with the actions of a number of Western states accusing the Syrian authorities with more and more unsubstantiated allegations of using banned chemical agents. We warn [the West] against new strikes on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic under another staged pretext," Lavrov said at a UN Security Council meeting.

READ MORE: Russia's S-300 Will be Able to Close Parts of Syrian Airspace — Moscow

Previously, US President Donald Trump stated that the US would respond if chemical weapons are deployed by the Syrian government.

Earlier this year, a coalition, led by Washington, carried out a series of airstrikes against Syrian forces following an alleged chemical weapons attack by the government in the city of Douma. Damascus denied the accusations, while Moscow stated that the whole attack was a false flag operation, staged by anti-government militants.

Source: https://sputniknews.com/world/201809261068361943-syria-new-strikes-us-eu/


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Israeli Media in Total PANIC over Russian transfer of S-300 to Syria


The Israeli media is in a total frenzy over the forthcoming transfer to Syria of the Russian anti-aircraft missile system S-300. They recognize that these measures will lead to serious consequences for the Israeli Air Force.

However, as FRN notes, there is a less than even chance that Russia will not make good on the delivery, given its history with this question in the past, combined with patterns it has exhibited in the use of such announcements to win a concession from a third party.

Related: How the UN Joined America’s War Against Syria by Eric Zuesse

But as the Jerusalem Post states , the appearance of the Syrian military S-300 will make it possible to modernize the air defense of the country profoundly and create a “threat to Israeli aircraft.”

Speaking about the shipments of the antiaircraft missile system, the Ninth Channel  published an article with this headline: “In two weeks, Israel is in for a nightmare?”



In turn, the news daily Yediot Aharonot also admits that the deployment of the S-300 in Syria is really bad news for Israel, since it will require the Israeli Air Force “more effort, more planning and more caution when using force in the skies of Syria and Lebanon.”

According to Haaretz , the Russian S-300 in Syrian hands can jeopardize Israel’s activities in the region, so from now on it “will have to think twice before the next attack.”

The decision to supply the S-300 systems to Syria was made against the background of the incident with the crash of the Russian Il-20 plane on September 17. It was shot down by Syrian air defense systems through the fault of Israel, resulting in the death of 15 Russian soldiers.

As Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu expects, the S-300 in Syria will help  cool the “hotheads” and deter against rash actions that threaten Russian servicemen.

Related: Iran’s elite guards vow ‘deadly’ revenge as Tehran blames US & allies for parade attack

S-300 “Favorit” anti-aircraft missile systems are designed for the defense of large industrial, administrative facilities and military bases. The first multichannel system, which is capable of accompanying each complex to six targets and aiming for them to twelve missiles.

Source: https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/09/israeli-media-in-total-panic-over-russian-transfer-of-s-300-to-syria/
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Iran’s elite guards vow ‘deadly’ revenge as Tehran blames US & allies for parade attack


 Those behind the terrorist attack at the Ahvaz military parade will face “unforgettable vengeance,” Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said, as Tehran persists in accusing Washington and its regional allies of orchestrating the assault.
Up to 29 people were killed and more than 60 others injured after gunmen fired indiscriminately at the crowd during a military parade in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz on Saturday. Several terrorist groups and the separatist ‘Patriotic Arab Democratic Movement in Ahwaz’ have claimed responsibility for the attack; all four gunmen were killed in the ensuing stand-off.



Now the influential Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) says it knows who organized the attack, while adding they are willing to pursue the attackers “regionally and beyond.”
“Considering [the Guards’] full knowledge about the centers of deployment of the criminal terrorists’ leaders... they will face a deadly and unforgettable vengeance in the near future,” the IRGC said in a statement Sunday.

Related: Iranian Army Spokesman: Ahvaz Military Parade Attackers Linked To US, Israel

The senior IRGC commanders said that the militants that carried out the attack were trained by the Gulf states and were ultimately backed by the US.


Tehran has, meanwhile, openly blamed the US and its allies in the Middle East for backing the attackers. Washington seeks to “create chaos and turmoil” in Iran so that the US can “take charge” of the Islamic Republic, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, before leaving for New York to attend a UN General Assembly meeting.

“The Persian Gulf states are providing monetary, military and political support for these groups,” he added, while accusing the US of being “the sponsor of all these small mercenary countries in the region.” At the same time, he said that Iran’s response to “these crimes” will be “within the framework of law.” Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also called the attack a “continuation of the plots of the regional states that are puppets of the United States.”
Washington has denied all the accusations and said that the incident has become the result of the Iranian government’s “oppressive” policies.

“He can blame us all he wants. The thing he’s got to do is look at the mirror,” the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley told CNN’s ‘State of the Union,’ referring to Rouhani. She also said that Washington “is not looking to do regime change in Iran” or “anywhere” else.

Her words came just a day after the US presidential lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said that the Iranian government will be toppled. “I don’t know when we’re going to overthrow them … but it’s going to happen,” he told the members of Iranian expat and dissident communities in the US at a so-called ‘Iran Uprising Summit’.






That event was held on the day of the deadly attack in Ahvaz. The US State Department, however, rushed to distance itself from Giuliani’s comments, stating that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer does not speak for the administration.

Meanwhile, Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) which earlier claimed responsibility for the incident, released a video that purports to show the alleged assailants planning to carry out the attack. The authenticity of the footage cannot be independently verified.

Source: https://www.rt.com/news/439169-iran-revolutionary-guard-avenge-attack/

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‘Criminal negligence’ or disregard to Russia-Israel ties: MoD details chronology of Il-20 downing

© Russian Defense Ministry / Sputnik 

A minute-by-minute account of the Il-20 downing shows Israel's culpability and either its military bosses' lack of appreciation of relations with Moscow, or their control of commanding officers, the Russian defense ministry said.

Related: Syrian President Assad Says Il-20 Crash 'Result of Israeli Arrogance' - Reports 
 
"We believe that the blame for the Russian Il-20 aircraft tragedy lies entirely with the Israeli Air Force," said spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov, before revealing a detailed account of events leading to the downing of the Russian Il-20 military aircraft on September 17. The plane was shot down by the Syrian air defense units as Israeli's F-16s effectively used it as a cover during the attack on its neighbor.

The report featured previously undisclosed radar data and details of communications between Russian and Israeli militaries, and concluded that "the military leadership of Israel either has no appreciation for the level of relations with Russia, or has no control over individual commands or commanding officers who understood that their actions would lead to tragedy."

Related: ‘You are to blame for downing of Il-20 and death of its crew,’ Russia tells Israel 

Misinformation & 'criminal negligence'

On the evening of September 17, the Russian Ilyushin IL-20 with 15 crew on board was circling over the Idlib de-escalation zone on a special reconnaissance mission, when four Israeli F-16 fighter jets left their country's airspace and flew over the neutral Mediterranean waters towards the Syrian coast. The Israeli Air Force gave the Russian side less than a minute's warning before dropping the precision-guided glide bombs, leaving virtually no time for any safety maneuvers, Konashenkov said, calling such actions "a clear violation of the 2015 Russian-Israeli agreements."

Related: [Video] Blame Game: Downing of Russian plane reveals resentment over Syria

Moreover, the Israeli military failed to provide the location of their jets or properly specify their targets, claiming they were going to attack several 'industrial facilities' in northern Syria, close to the Il-20’s area of operation. The misinformation prompted the Russian Command to order the recon plane back to the Khmeimim air base. The Israeli jets, however, instead almost immediately attacked the western Syrian Latakia province.

 "The misleading information provided by the Israeli officer about the area of strikes did not allow the Russian Il-20 airplane to move timely to a safe area."

Once the Syrian air defenses responded to the initial strike, the Israeli jets switched on radar jamming and pulled back, apparently preparing for another attack. One of the jets then approached the Syrian coast –and the Russian plane which at that time was preparing to land– again.

 Inforgraphics showing the location of the Israeli targets © Russian Defense Ministry

The Israeli pilot must have been well aware of the fact that the Il-20 has a much larger radar cross-section than his F-16, and would become a "preferred target" for the Syrian air defense units, who use different friend-or-foe systems with the Russians, Konashenkov said. Thus, for the Syrians, the reconnaissance plane could appear as a group of Israeli jets.


"The Israeli jets saw the Russian Ilyushin Il-20 and used it as a shield against the anti-aircraft missiles, while they carried on maneuvering in the region," Konashenkov said during the news briefing.
"The actions of the Israeli fighter pilots, which led to the loss of life of 15 Russian servicemen, either lacked professionalism or were an act of criminal negligence, to say the least."
Finally, the Israeli jets carried out their maneuvers in the immediate vicinity of the Khmeimim air base, which is used both by military and civilian aircraft, including passenger planes, the ministry's spokesman emphasized, saying that the reckless actions of the Israeli pilots could also have posed a threat to any passenger or transport aircraft that may have happened to be there at that time.

Israel 'crossed the line of civilized relations' with 'ungrateful response'

Israel's negligent behavior amounts to a flagrant violation of the very spirit of cooperation between the countries, Konashenkov stated, noting that Russia has never broken its commitment to the deconfliction agreement – it has always informed Israel about their missions in advance and has never used its air defense capabilities against the Israelis, even though their airstrikes sometimes put the Russian servicemen in danger.

Related: Israeli army blames Damascus for Russia’s Il-20 downing, mourns death of crew – statement

Russia has sent as many as 310 notifications to the Israeli Air Force Command, while the latter appeared to be reluctant to show the same level of commitment, notifying only 25 times even though its jets carried out more than 200 strikes against targets located in Syria over the past 18 months alone.

"This is an extremely ungrateful response to all that has been done by the Russian Federation for Israel and the Israeli people recently," Konashenkov said.

The Russian military supported the Syrian military operation in the Golan Heights to "ensure there were no shelling attacks on Israeli territory" anymore, thus allowing the UN peacekeeping mission to resume patrolling of the contested border between Syria and Israel after "a six-year hiatus."

Related:  Israel’s Failed Attempt to Start WWIII Is the Beginning of the End in Syria

Russia also managed to secure the withdrawal of all Iran-backed groups from the Golan Heights to a "safe distance for Israel," more than 140 kilometers to the east of Syria, the spokesperson said, adding that this was done at the request of Tel Aviv. "A total of 1,050 personnel, 24 MLRSs and tactical missiles, as well as 145 pieces of other munitions and military equipment were withdrawn from the area," Konashenkov told journalists.

The Russian Defense Ministry had provided assistance in preserving Jewish sacred places and graves in the city of Aleppo. Putting Russian Special Forces soldiers' lives in danger, it also organized the search for the remains of some Israeli servicemen that died during the past conflicts in an area where the Syrian forces were combating Islamic State (IS, former ISIS) terrorists at that time.
"In view of the above, the hostile actions committed by the Israeli Air Force against the Russian Ilyushin Il-20 aircraft cross the line of civilized relations."
While Israel said that it mourned the deaths of Russian troops, the IDF statement following the incident shifted all the blame for the incident solely on Damascus, and its Iranian and Lebanese allies.

Source: https://www.rt.com/news/439151-russia-israel-il-20-negligence/

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Iranian Army Spokesman: Ahvaz Military Parade Attackers Linked To US, Israel


Iranian Armed Forces spokesman, Brig. Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, told IRNA that the militants who had committed a terrorist attack on a military parade in the Iranian city of Ahvaz on Saturday were linked to the United States and Israel.
“These terrorists are not members of the Daesh* [terrorist group, banned in Russia] and do not belong to groups fighting the Islamic system. These people are linked to the United States and [Israeli intelligence service] Mossad. These militants were organized and trained by two countries of the Persian Gulf,” Shekarchi said in an interview with a local agency.

The spokesman added that the servicemen had killed all four militants who committed the attack.
Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused “regional terror sponsors and their US masters” of organizing the attack.

Related: Terrorist attack at Iranian military parade kills over 20

The minister’s statement came as a response to the incident reported earlier in the day when armed militants opened fire at the parade, leaving at least 25 people killed and another 60 were injured, according to media reports.

The Saudi-linked Patriotic Arab Democratic Movement in Ahwaz has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

*Daesh, also known as Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL is a terrorist group, banned in the United States, Russia and many other countries.

See previous coverage and live updates on the article below.

Dozens Killed In Iran Military Parade: Arab Group Takes Responsibility For Attack


 Source: https://iranian.com/2018/09/22/ahvaz-military-parade-attackers-linked-to-us-israel/

 
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[Video] Zakharova holds weekly briefing in St. Petersburg

Spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova conducts her weekly press briefing on current foreign affairs in St. Petersburg.


Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IirmmFx0tZ8

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Syrian President Assad Says Il-20 Crash 'Result of Israeli Arrogance' - Reports

Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad has sent a letter to Russian president Vladimir Putin, expressing his condolences over the recent Russian Il-20 plane crash in Syria, local media reported.
Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad wrote in his letter to Vladimir Putin that the Russian Il-20 plane crash near Hmeymim air base was a result of Israeli arrogance, SANA news agency reported.

Syrian president expressed his condolences over the tragedy and said that he hoped that the plane crash would not impede Russian and Syrian joint fight against terrorism.

Related: Israel’s Failed Attempt to Start WWIII Is the Beginning of the End in Syria

The Russian Hmeymim airbase in Syria had lost contact with the Il-20 military aircraft late on Monday during the attack of Israeli F-16 aircraft on Syrian targets in the province of Latakia. The Russian Defense Ministry said later that the Israeli military deliberately created a dangerous situation by using the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defense systems.

READ MORE: Il-20 Accidentally Downed by Syria: Putin Calls Incident Tragic Chain of Events

Earlier, Israeli military delegation led by Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin will travel to Moscow on September 20 with information about the crash of the aircraft.

Source: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201809191068179839-syrian-president-assad-il-20-crash-condolences/ 

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[Video] Blame Game: Downing of Russian plane reveals resentment over Syria

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Israel’s Failed Attempt to Start WWIII Is the Beginning of the End in Syria

 

There is one thing that Israel fears more than anything else in Syria. The loss of its ability to fly its F-16’s with impunity and hit whatever targets it wants claiming defensive measures to stop Iran, their existential enemy.

Israel finally admitted to carrying out over 200 such missions over the past 18 months, only a few of which ever made any kind of international media, recently.

And with the sneak attack on Latakia which involved using a Russian IL-20 ELINT war plane as radar cover Israel has now not only raised the stakes to an unacceptable level, it has also ensured that this may be the last such aerial assault it will ever be able to carry out.
The setup is pretty clear. Israel and France coordinated an attack on multiple targets within Syria without US involvement but with absolute US knowledge of the operation to provoke Russia into going off half-cocked by attacking the inconsequential French frigate which assisted Israel’s air attack.


That would constitute an attack on a NATO member state and require a response from NATO, thereby getting the exact escalation needed to continue the war in Syria indefinitely and touch off WWIII.

This neatly bypasses any objections to a wider conflict by President Trump who would have to respond militarily to a Russian attack on a NATO ally. It also would reassert NATO’s necessity in the public dialogue, further marginalizing Trump’s attacks on it and any perceived drive of his for peace.

That this took place within the 60 days window of the mid-term elections should also not be discounted.


This attack took place just hours after Presidents Erdogan and Putin negotiated a ‘peaceful’ settlement for Idlib province by declaring a De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) 15-20 kilometers wide which everyone, including Erdogan’s pets Jabhat al-Nusra would have to abide by.
Peace was breaking out in Syria and Israel and the war-hawks in D.C. weren’t standing for that.

By conducting this attack like this Israel and the NATO crowd figured it would be a win/win for them.

If Russia strikes back at France, then NATO invokes Article 5 and they get their wider war.
If Russia doesn’t strike back Putin loses face within Russia, his popularity drops 5 points and John Bolton begins salivating at the prospect of regime change in Russia. Yes, they are that insane.

It was a neat piece of geopolitical maneuvering, almost judo-like. Russia and Syria looked to be on the verge of victory, extending themselves in a major conflict that would result in months of bad press. We were expecting a possible false-flag chemical weapons attack, cries of humanitarian crisis and all the rest of the tired virtue-signaling we can expect by US ‘diplomatic’ officials that has been all too common even under Trump.

What we got was the opposite, a carefully-crafted assault on Russian military forces wherein Russia’s vaunted air-defense systems would be blamed for its own people’s deaths and a mistaken counter-attack that justifies the “Putin is a Vile War-Monger” narrative to justify a US invasion of Syria which has been held in amber since 2013 and Putin’s skillful defusing that situation via diplomatic means.

For once, this almost looked like a well-thought out plan. Not the usual ham-fisted crudities we’ve been treated to over the last few years. But, here’s the rub.
It didn’t work.

By naming names and immediately not responding militarily during the ‘fog of war’ Russia and Putin again prove to be more skilled at this than their adversaries.

Because none of what I just outlined will come to pass. And France, Israel and the US will be the ones to lose face here. And with Israel betraying Putin’s forbearance after April’s air strikes on Damascus, he will have no choice but to upgrade Syria’s air defense systems from S-200’s to S-300’s and possibly S-400’s.


This is Israel’s worst nightmare. A situation where any aerial assault on targets within Syria would be suicide missions, puncturing the myth of the Israeli air force’s superiority and shifting the delicate balance of power in Syria decidedly against them.

This is why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu worked Putin so hard over the last two years. But, this incident wipes that slate clean. This was a cynical betrayal of Putin’s trust and patience. And Israel will now pay the price for their miscalculation.

Giving Syria S-300’s does not avenge the fifteen dead Russian soldiers. Putin will have to respond to that in a more concrete way to appease the hardliners in his government and at home. His patience and seeming passivity are being pushed to their limit politically. This is, after all, a side benefit to all of this for the neoconservative and globalist hawks in D.C., Europe and Tel Aviv.

But, the real loss here for Israel will be Russia instituting a no-fly zone over western Syria. Any less response from Putin will be seized upon by and the situation will escalate from here. So, Putin has to deploy S-300’s here. And once that happens, the real solution to Syria begins in earnest.

Because at that point it will be the US’s move to flat-out invade without provocation, now that a solution is in place in Syria between Russia and a NATO member, Turkey.

The only good news in all of this is that US forces were not involved. This still tells me that Trump and Mattis are still in charge of their chain of command and that other forces are conspiring to drag them into a conflict no one in their right minds wants.


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Israel Unlikely to Fly Freely Over Syria After Il-20 Incident - Ex-Official

ST.PETERSBURG (Sputnik) - Israel is unlikely to freely use Syrian airspace in the wake of the crash of a Russian Il-20 military aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, Yakov Kedmi, a former high-ranking Israeli intelligence official, told Sputnik.

"There was an agreement between Israel and Russia that the actions of Israel in Syria's airspace would not endanger lives of Russian troops. Israel breached this commitment… What happens next will depend on the position of Israel. Most likely, Israel will no longer be able to enjoy the same freedom in the sky of Syria as it did before the incident," Kedmi said.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) earlier in the day that Israel would share all information on the incident with Moscow. The IDF expressed regret over the deaths of the Russian troops and put the blame on Damascus and Tehran.

"Israel's attack in itself, regardless of the consequences, was an irresponsible step, because there is not a single facility on the territory of Syria that might have been used by Iran and whose destruction would have justified an attack on it, which could endanger the Russian troops," Kedmi said.

READ MORE: Turkey Could Deploy Additional Troops to Idlib Under Deal With Russia — Ankara

According to the IDF, the Israeli jets were targeting a facility in Syria which contained "systems to manufacture accurate and lethal weapons" that could be sent "on behalf of Iran" to Hezbollah movement in Lebanon. Israel, as well as many other states, considers the movement a terrorist organization.

Related: Will Russia-Israel ties suffer after downing of Il-20 military plane off Syrian coast?
 
 The Russian Hmeimim airbase had lost contact with the crew of the Russian Il-20 military aircraft late on Monday during the attack of four Israeli F-16 aircraft on Syrian targets in the province of Latakia. The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier on Tuesday that the Israeli military deliberately created a dangerous situation by using the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defense systems. As a result, the Il-20 jet was downed by a missile launched by Syria's S-200 air defense system.

Source: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201809181068132500-israel-syria-il-20-incident-airspace/?utm_source=https://l.facebook.com/&utm_medium=short_url&utm_content=j8DT&utm_campaign=URL_shortening

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In tacit threat, Israel releases satellite photos of Syrian presidential palace

To mark 30 years since its first orbital launch, Defense Ministry publishes images from its newest spy satellite, showing Syrian tanks, an airfield… and Bashar Assad’s home

A photograph of Syria's Presidential Palace in Damascus taken by Israel's Ofek 11 spy satellite, which was released by the Defense Ministry on September 17, 2018. (Defense Ministry)

Israel on Monday released photographs taken by its newest spy satellite of sites located deep inside Syria, including Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s palace, in an apparent threat to the regime.
The images, taken by the Ofek 11 spy satellite, were released by the Defense Ministry to mark 30 years since Israel’s first orbital launch on September 19, 1988.

The three photographs released by the ministry showed the Syrian Presidential Palace, also known as the Palace of the People; tanks on a Syrian military base; and the Damascus international airport, which was reportedly targeted by an Israeli missile strike on Saturday night. 

The publication of the images could be seen as both a show of strength and a tacit threat to Syria, where Israel has routinely conducted air raids against Iranian targets — over 200 of them since 2017, according to the Israel Defense Forces.





The Saturday night strike reportedly targeted an Iranian plane at the Damascus international airport that was delivering weapons to pro-regime forces and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps units fighting in Syria’s civil war, as well as several weapons storage facilities at the airport itself.


Syrian President Bashar Assad in an AP interview at the presidential palace in Damascus, Syria, September 2016. (Syrian Presidency via AP)

There was no official Israel comment on the reported attack. However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday seemed to acknowledge that the Israeli military was responsible for it

“Israel is constantly working to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with advanced weaponry,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem. “Our red lines are as sharp as ever and our determination to enforce them is stronger than ever.”



A photograph of Syria’s international airport in Damascus taken by Israel’s Ofek 11 spy satellite, which was released by the Defense Ministry on September 17, 2018. (Defense Ministry)

The Syrian state news agency, SANA, claimed that Israel had targeted the airport with missiles, activating the country’s air defenses, which shot down a number of the projectiles. The Syrian military has often been accused of exaggerating its successes in intercepting incoming missiles.

On Sunday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said that the alleged Israeli strike caused “substantial” damage at the airport, but had no immediate information on casualties.


 For years, Israel has been concerned that Iran was using opportunities presented by the Syrian civil war to entrench itself militarily in the country in order to further threaten the Jewish state — alongside the threat already posed by terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The Ofek 11

The Ofek 11 spy satellite was launched on September 13, 2016, using a Shavit rocket, the same basic model that Israel used to launch the first Ofek satellite 30 years before.

Shortly after takeoff, the team operating the satellite discovered it was not functioning properly. Teams of engineers on the ground worked to stabilize the Ofek 11 and get its systems running.


Israel’s Ofek-11 spy satellite takes off from Palmachim air base in central Israel on September 13, 2016. (Ministry of Defense Space Administration)

Nine days later, the satellite beamed back its first images, dispelling fears that it was a total operational loss.

“The Ofek 11 satellite will provide operational outputs,” the Defense Ministry said at the time.

The Ofek 11 was an upgrade from the Ofek 10 satellite launched by Israel in April 2014.

The Ofek 11 joined approximately 10 other satellites, including the Ofek 10, Ofek 9, Ofek 7 and Ofek 5, that feed intelligence to Israel’s security forces.

“Israel’s independent capabilities in the field of satellites represents a significant advantage in its efforts to stand up to various security threats. The quality of the images and photographs that are produced by our different satellites is incredible and provide us with valuable intelligence, and prove that the sky is not the limit,” Amnon Harari, the head of the Defense Ministry’s space program, said on Monday.

Source: https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-tacit-threat-israel-releases-satellite-photos-of-syrian-presidential-palace/

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[Video] Israel blames Syria for Russia’s Il-20 downing, mourns death of crew

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Will Russia-Israel ties suffer after downing of Il-20 military plane off Syrian coast?

Will Russia-Israel ties suffer after downing of Il-20 military plane off Syrian coast?

Will Russia-Israel ties suffer after downing of Il-20 military plane off Syrian coast?

Moscow and Tel Aviv had long enjoyed fairly good ties despite the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, but they are now at risk as Russia blames Israel for the downing its warplane off Syrian coast and the crew's death.

Although the plane was technically shot down by a Syrian missile, Russia made it clear who it blames in the tragedy, saying that Israeli pilots used the Russian Il-20 as a cover.
 
Related: ‘You are to blame for downing of Il-20 and death of its crew,’ Russia tells Israel

The Middle East historically remained a place of bitter rivalries. Tension grew increasingly high after the Arab Spring brought more havoc to an already complex region, riddled with colliding interests and clashing ambitious of various actors, large and small. Nevertheless, Russia and Israel had always managed to keep good relations.

This year alone President Vladimir Putin met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu three times, and every time the media didn’t get much details from closed-door discussions. Through delicate behind-the-scenes diplomacy Moscow maintained a close, working relations with Israel. The fact that it’s one of US closest allies was never an issue for Moscow. Russia itself kept developing ties with Turkey and Iran, Israel’s arch-nemesis, while managing to address Israel’s concerns too.

For Russia, Israel is not only an important, geopolitical partner with alleged nuclear capabilities, situated in the heart of the world’s most turbulent region. It’s also home of about 1.3 million expats from post-Soviet countries. This large diaspora plays a significant role for Russia when it tailors its approach to Tel Aviv.

Related: The Russian-“Israeli” “Crisis”: Climb-Down In Progress?

Even the war in Syria, where Israel - in hopes of curbing Iranian influence - supported and armed controversial anti-government militants, didn’t result in a serious crisis in relations with Russia.

Over the course of the conflict, the IDF had conducted numerous airstrikes against targets in Syria and even launched missiles at Syrian jets. Each attack was strongly condemned by both Syria and Russia who had been pointing out that any military incursion into the country without the government’s and UN’s approval is illegal.

Related: https://www.rt.com/news/438686-syria-russia-s200-il20/

But the raid on Latakia and the collateral damage in a form of a downed Russian military plane can inflict grave damage on the relations between the states. Israel stands firmly against the strengthening of the Turkish or Iranian grip in the region, so its recent actions may be an attempt to remind everyone that the Syrian crisis has other stakeholders involved. Especially, since just the day before the tragic incident with the Russia plane Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyp Erdogan reached a settlement on the situation around Idlib, the last militant stronghold beyond the control of the Syrian government.

Source: https://www.rt.com/news/438704-russia-israel-conflict-plane/
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