By Rudaw 50 minutes ago
Russian military forces deployed to Syria reportedly fired upon Israeli aircraft on at least two occasions over the past six months leading to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeking to enhance coordination mechanisms between his country and the Kremlin to avoid any potentially dangerous clashes.
This is according to a story in the Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper on Friday. The story does not, however, make clear who its sources were nor which dates the alleged incidents took place.
Israeli jets have flown numerous airstrikes against Russian-made missiles in the Syrian military arsenal it does not want the Hezbollah militia to get its hands on, some of these strikes appear to have taken place after the Russian deployment which began last September 30.
Turkey infamously shot down a Russian warplane over its border with Syria on November 24 which saw hitherto cordial relations between Ankara and Moscow severely strained. Israel maintains a communication mechanism with Moscow shortly after Russia’s intervention.
A Russian warplane briefly flew over Israeli-controlled airspace in the Golan Heights region last November 29 without incident.
Reported by SBS
Russian forces in Syria have fired at least twice on Israeli military aircraft, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seek improved operational coordination with Moscow, Israel’s top-selling newspaper said on Friday.
22 Apr 2016 – 5:06 PM UPDATED 2 HOURS AGO
The unsourced report in Yedioth Ahronoth gave no dates or locations for the incidents nor any indication Israeli planes were hit. Russia mounted its military intervention in Syria in September to shore Damascus up amid a now 5-year-old rebellion.
Separately, Israel’s Channel 10 TV said a Russian warplane approached an Israeli warplane off the Mediterranean coast of Syria last week but that there was no contact between them.
An Israeli military spokesman declined comment. Netanyahu’s office and the Russian embassy in Israel did not immediately respond.
Israel, which has repeatedly bombed Syria to foil suspected arms handovers to Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas, was quick to set up an operational hotline with Moscow designed to avoid accidentally trading fire with Russian interventionary forces.
Visiting Moscow on Thursday, Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin in televised remarks: “I came here with one main goal – to strengthen the security coordination between us so as to avoid mishaps, misunderstandings and unnecessary confrontations.”
In an apparent allusion to Syria, Putin said: “I think there are understandable reasons for these intensive contacts (with Israel), given the complicated situation in the region.”
According to Yedioth, the reported Russian fire on Israeli planes was first raised with Putin by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who visited Moscow on March 15. At the time, Putin responded that he was unaware of the incidents, Yedioth said.