Israeli strikes on Syria nearly downed plane with 172 civilians – Russia

Israeli strikes on Syria nearly downed plane with 172 civilians – Russia

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Russian Ministry of Defense says Israeli F-16 fighter jets carried out strikes with eight air-to-surface missiles on Damascus' suburbs early Thursday, February 6, without entering Syrian airspace, Sputnik reports.

According to the Russian military, a civil Airbus-320 with 172 passengers on board was trying to land at Damascus airport during the Israeli airstrikes that night, but landed instead at the Russian airbase in Hmeymim.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry’s spokesman, it has already become a common practice for the Israeli air force to use civil aircraft to shield their own fighter jets from the Syrian air defence systems.

Eight troops were injured and some material damage was caused as a result of Thursday morning's airstrikes on Damascus and other Syrian cities, a Syrian military source said earlier. The military source confirmed the attack was launched from the Golan Heights, part of which has been occupied by Israel since 1967, and from southern Lebanon's airspace. Israel has remained silent about who was responsible for the strikes.

The Israeli military did not comment on the attacks. Speaking in a telephone briefing on Thursday morning, Israel Defense Forces spokesman Jonathan Conricus said he would “not comment on foreign media reports about events in Syria”.

In recent years, Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes on Syria, targeting what Tel Aviv says are "Iranian" or "Iran-backed" forces, which, according to Israeli authorities, threaten the country.

The Syrian government has repeatedly appealed to the United Nations over the Israeli forces' "aggression" and violations of its airspace.

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