Russian defence ministry lashes out at Israel over Syria

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Russian defence ministry lashes out at Israel over Syria

MOSCOW (AA) - Russia’s Defense Ministry on Wednesday accused the Israeli Air Forces of striking civilian airplanes landing at the Damascus and Beirut airports.

Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said six Israeli F-16 fighter jets used 16 air GBU-39 air bombs in the attack on Tuesday night.

Fourteen bombs were destroyed by Syria’s air defense system but two hit the logistic center of a Syrian army brigade wounding three servicemen, he added.

“The provocative actions of the Israeli Air Forces on the evening of Dec. 25, 2018, when six F-16 aircraft, while in the airspace of neighboring Lebanon, struck the territory of Syria, creating a direct threat to two passenger aircraft.

“To prevent a tragedy, the use of the Syrian air defense and electronic warfare was limited, which allowed air traffic controllers in Damascus to divert the passenger planes from a dangerous area and send them to the alternate Hmeimim airport,” Konashenkov said.

In September, a Russian Il-20 military plane was struck in a similar attack, killing 15 servicemen on board.