Ksenia Svetlova, a member of the Israeli parliament’s defense committee, revealed that Israeli warplanes had not approached Syria’s airspace since Russia supplied the Syrian military with S-300 air defense systems.
“There hasn’t been a single mission since Syria received S-300s. The S-300 has changed the balance of power in the region,” she told media on November 5.
Svetlova’s remarks went contrary to speculations widely spreaded by mainstream media outlets in late October. On October 29, Reuters reported citing “the senior official, who could not be named” that warplanes of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) had continued attacks on targets in Syria even after the downing of the Russian Il-20 military plane on September 17.
“The IDF have attacked in Syria, including after the downing of the Russian plane. Military coordination with the Russians continues as before,” Reuters quoted the source as saying.
However, Rueters were not able to provide any evidence to confirm such claims. Syrian local and military sources mocked these reports. Nonetheless, they gained a wide attention in the mainstream media because they contribute to its general narrative towards the conflict.
Svetlova’s statement is another confiration that the Reuters article was a common example of fake news.
Despite a compliated situation faced Syria after the S-300 delivery, top Israeli officialls continue to make threats against the Syrian Armed Forces.
On November 5, Ze’ev Elkin, Israel’s Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Minister of Environmental Protection called the S-300 delivery to Syria a “big mistake” and threated that Israeli forces will eliminate S-300 systems if they are employed.
“The Syrian military are not always capable of correctly using the hardware transferred to them. In case of improper operation, civilian aircrafts may be harmed,” he claimed reflecting the Israeli attitude to blame Damascus for every escalation in the Israeli-Syrian relations.
Elkin even stated that the Syrians “might use [S-300 systems] to down an Israeli military or commercial plane over Israeli territory.”
“Considering the mess that is going on in the Syrian Army. Shipping S-300s might lead to destabilization of the situation,” he added.
The minister even went further threatening Russia.
“By shipping these kinds of weapons to Syrians, Russia bears partial responsibility for their use,” Elkin said. “Usually, Israel reacts to attacks on its territory and its aircrafts not through international demarches, but with practical actions. Actions would undoubtedly take place, should [an attack] occur, against the launchers used to attack Israeli territory or Israeli planes.”
“I hope greatly that there would be no Russian military specialists [at S-300 sites],” he stated. “Israel has for all these years been doing everything it can to make sure Russian military personnel are not harmed. The Iranians have repeatedly used the Russian military as a living shield and conducted arms relocation operations under the cover of the Russian military presence.”
Elkin also speculated that Iran had attempted to use Russian military bases for weapons shipment operations. Nonetheless, he failed to provide data “how” Teheran wanted to do this without informing Moscow.