Report: Russia won't curb Israeli airstrikes in Syria

Iranian media reports that Russia has given Israel permission to attack Iranian bases in Syria other than ones near Russian troops.

Tzvi Lev ,

IAF F-16
IAF F-16
Flash 90

Iranian media reports that Russia does not intend to prevent future Israeli airstrikes on Iranian weapons facilities and shipments in Syria other than a few areas in southern Syria.

The report comes as Israel and Russia remain at loggerheads after Syria mistakenly downed a Russian air force jet earlier this month following an Israeli bombing.

According to reports, Russia is opposed to attacks in the area of the town of Latakia, due to the large concentration of Russia military personnel stationed there.

Israel has long attacked Iranian military bases in Syria and shipments of advanced missiles to it's Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.

Tensions between Israel and Russia flared up recently after a IL-20 reconnaissance aircraft was reported missing over Syria, following an Israeli airstrike on a military research facility in northern Syria.

The plane, which was carrying 15 crew members, was later declared lost, after apparently being downed by a Syria surface-to-air missile.

Russian officials blamed Israel for the downing of the IL-20, saying the IDF had provided just one-minute advance notice of the impending airstrike to Russian Defense Ministry officials, adding that the Israeli fighter jets had used the IL-20 to draw the Syrian air defense network’s fire.

Israel denied the claims, saying its jets were already out of the combat zone and in Israeli airspace when the IL-20 was downed, and that the IL-20 had been far from the area of the airstrikes during the Israeli operation.

An IDF delegation was dispatched to Moscow last week to share information collected by Israel as part of its investigation into the incident.

Despite Israel's efforts at rapprochement, Russia said earlier this week that it would arm the Syrian military with advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles – replacing its defense network of older S-200 missiles. The Russian military will also work to actively jam the radar systems of approaching warplanes near the Syrian border.

Russian President Vladimir Putin informed Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of the plan during a phone call between the two leaders Monday, claiming that the move was needed to protect Russian soldiers deployed in Syria.

Netanyahu protested the decision, saying the transfer of the missiles to “irresponsible hands” was “dangerous”.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday during a tour of the Golan Heights that Israel would continue to hold contacts with Russia on security coordination, despite the incident.

"We value our relations with Russia, and the security coordination between the Russian army and the IDF is very important. We also regret the loss of the 15 Russian officers and soldiers. At the same time, we have no interest in conducting a media dialogue with Russia, all that is needed, and there are many contacts and many coordination, all in secret channels. "