Russia has sent a message to Israel warning that its in-and-out military operations in Syria will not be tolerated. Following last week’s incident, the Israeli ambassador to Russia was summoned to the Foreign Ministry to informed about Moscow’s concerns about the airstrikes which struck close to Russian military locations.
Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said they hope that the military “hotline” they established with Israel would “work more effectively” in order to avoid “misunderstanding on who is doing what.”
President Assad hailed Russia’s intervention as he noted that Kremlin “can play a role so that Israel no longer attacks Syria.” Syria’s ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, applauded the conversation between the Russian authorities and the Israeli ambassador. He said president “Putin sent a clear message” to Tel Aviv stressing that “this game is over.”
In the latest developments, Damascus has claimed that it has downed an Israeli surveillance drone near the south-eastern province of Quneitra in the Syrian Golan Heights. Israel confirmed that it lost a ‘sky rider’ drone and announced that it was investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. Pictures of the drone surfaced on social media platforms close to Lebanese-based Hezbollah.
Israel has been able to limit its actions in the Syrian war to carrying out airstrike missions it claims target members of Hezbollah or shipments destined for the group. However, its defense minister Avigdor Lieberman stated that “Syrians must understand that they are held responsible for these arms transfers” and Israel “will do what we have to do” if Damascus fails to stop it. He also added that Syria’s use of an anti-aircraft missile last week against its aircraft that bombed targets around Palmyra would be met with revengeful actions. “The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation.”