Wednesday, July 17, 2024
 
 

Syrian government forces nearly shoot down passenger plane, Russia blames Israel

EPA-EFE/ATEF SAFADI
A Russian war plane as it strikes on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights at the village of Sayda al-Golan in the southeastern Quneitra province, as seen from the Israeli side of the border, 23 July 2018. The Syrian army backed by Russian air strikes launched an offensive on the rebels-held southwestern provience of Quneitra during the same month. Rebels and the Syrian army reached an agreement that allows rebels and their family to leave to the rebels-control northern city of Idlib.

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Russia on Friday said its ally Syria nearly shot down a civilian plane on Friday while trying to repel an Israeli airstrike near Syria’s capital, Damascus.
Moscow accused the Israel Defense Forces of using the civilian plane as a shield during its attack the previous day.
Russian officials said a civilian Airbus-320 with 172 passengers on board was attempting to land at Damascus Airport, when it was nearly hit by Syrian air defenses during the attack. It was instead forced to land at the Russian airbase in Khmeimim.
“Only thanks to prompt actions of dispatchers at Damascus airport and effective work of the automated system of monitoring air traffic, the Airbus-320 was escorted from the danger zone and assisted in successfully landing at an aerodrome at the Russian air base Khmeimim”, said a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman.
A Syrian state news agency claimed the country’s air defenses confronted an Israeli attack. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least three government and Iranian positions near Damascus and west of the capital were targeted.
Twenty-three Iranian and foreign fighters were killed in strikes against several targets near Damascus the previous day. Syrian state media blamed the incident on Israel, who accuses Iran, Syria’s ally, of attempting to set up a military presence in Syria that could be used as a launchpad for attacks against the Jewish state.

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