Israel’s former minister for military affairs claims that the regime nearly shot down a Russian jet that was approaching its airspace back in 2015.
The incident took place shortly after September 2015, when Russia started lending air support to Syria’s anti-terror operations, Moshe Ya’alon told Russia’s Ria Novosti news agency.
“At the very beginning of the Russian presence [in Syria], there was a case where one Russian pilot almost crossed our border over the Golan Heights. If it was a Syrian plane we would have shot it down,” Ya’alon said.
Israel has been occupying Syria’s Golan since 1967, when it seized the territory during a war against Arab states. It has been treating injured Takfiri terrorists in the territory and providing them with other assistance.
Ya'alon said the Israeli air force was prepared to shoot down the Russian jet if it had not maneuvered away.
Israeli forces then contacted Hmeimim, a western Syrian airbase currently operated by Russia, notifying it of the situation, he said.
“The issue was resolved immediately,” Ya'alon said, alleging that Russian aircraft operating in Syria changed course after the contact was established.
Ya’alon also said after finding out about Moscow's mission in Syria, Tel Aviv called in Russia’s military attaché and told him, “Do not bother us, and we will not interfere with you.”
In February, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov warned against further escalation in the Middle East after Israel carried out an airstrike in Syria, only to have one of its F-16s shot down for the first time.
Following the Israeli airstrike, President Vladimir Putin asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during phone talks to avoid moves that could lead to “a new round of dangerous consequences for the region”.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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