Israeli actions have put lives of Russian troops in Syria in a danger “in a number of cases”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais on November 5.
“Regrettably, the Israeli side did not always deliver on its obligations, primarily where it concerned notifying the Russian military of their combat operations in Syria. In a number of cases, this put into jeopardy the lives of Russian servicemen: a case in point is the Israeli bombing raid on facilities in the environs of Palmyra in March 2017.
We warned them that this attitude could lead to tragic consequences; these signals were conveyed through all channels and at the top level. Simultaneously we stressed that the use of force was unable to resolve Israeli security concerns and could only foment regional tensions.
Nevertheless the practice of delivering strikes at targets in Syria was continued. It is this that led to the tragic downing of the Russian Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance plane with 15 officers on board. I will not go into detail of this tragedy. The details are known and specialists are well aware of the reasons. After the September 17 incident, we could not leave everything as is. Russia’s response was reserved but resolute,” Lavrov said.
Responding to the September 17 incident, Russia described Israeli actions as “hostile”, supplied S-300 air defense systems to the Syrian military and started assisting the country to establish a united air-defense network, which would include the newly supplied air defense systems. Since Septembet 17, there have been no Israeli strikes on targets in Syria. This was recently admitted by Ksenia Svetlova, a member of the Israeli parliament’s defense committee.