07:25 GMT +328 March 2017
    FILE -- In this Dec. 29, 2016 file photo, released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), a long-range S-200 missile is fired in a military drill in the port city of Bushehr, on the northern coast of Persian Gulf, Iran

    Israeli Threats to Destroy Syria’s Air Defense Aimed at 'Advancing Own Interest'

    © AP Photo/ Amir Kholousi, ISNA
    Middle East
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    Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has warned that Israel will destroy Syrian air defense systems if it attempts to down Israeli aircraft again. The warning came after the Syrian S-200 air defense system shot down an Israeli warplane and hit another.

    The Syrian military officials said that the aircraft targeted a military site near Palmyra, whereas Israel says that they were aimed at an alleged weapons shipment to Hezbollah.

    Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with professor Eyal Zisser, an expert on Syria from Tel Aviv University.

    “For the last several years when the Israeli intelligence gets information about a shipment of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah through Syria, Israel sends aircraft to attack that specific weaponry. The idea was not to interfere in the Syrian war or attack Syrian army positions but to attack shipment of weapons to Hezbollah,” Zisser said.

    He further spoke about which weapons Israel was trying to destroy saying that it was probably air missiles, as Hezbollah has so many of those already.

    Regarding Liberman’s response to this incident threatening to destroy Syria’s defense systems, the professor said, “The response is mainly rhetoric although sometimes in the Middle East rhetoric does lead to action and that needs to be avoided.”

    Zisser further said that, “Israelis are following their own interest. These weapons are supplied to Hezbollah through Syrian territories so that makes Syria an enemy and in the eyes of Israel why not use the opportunity while Assad is struggling and is so busy with his own problems. Israel is using this as opportunity to advance its own interest.”

    Russia and Israel sort of had an agreement that any military equipment going from Iran to Hezbollah to fight against Daesh would not be used to attack Israel. Talking about this agreement, the professor said that any escalation of tension between Syria and Israel also threatens Russia’s military positions.

    “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Russian President Vladimir Putin only a week ago and they discussed those issues. Of course I think now there is an open channel aimed to avoid incidents like these … but Russia is working together with Iran to keep stability in Syria and that concerns Israel,” Zisser said.

    He further said that the mission is to maintain friendly relations between the two countries and at the same time to express concern.

    “It is very good that Russia is playing the role because Russia has open channels to all sides and it’s in Russia’s interest but it can help all sides to avoid escalation and deterioration and so on,” the professor said.

    Zisser further spoke about Hezbollah and whether it actually poses any threat to Israel.

    On Friday, Israeli Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Yisrael Katz confirmed the attacks saying that it targeted a convoy which was supposedly carrying weapons to the Shiite Hezbollah movement.

    "The Israeli Air Force carried out airstrikes on a convoy in Syria, carrying a batch of weapons for Hezbollah," Katz said in a statement, distributed by his press service.

    The Syrian Army command said in a statement it had downed one of the Israeli Air Force jets that violated its airspace, while the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) denied these claims to Sputnik.


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    weapons, airspace violation, bilateral relations, escalation, threat, interview, S-200, Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Hezbollah, Benjamin Netanyahu, Syria, Israel
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    • arpito
      a Jew talking, there is no credibility here...
    • Mikhas
      Thanks for this Zionazi propaganda bullsh*t piece, NOT.

      The non-Semitic squatters in occupied Palestine are p*ssed because Syria did shot one of their "invincible" jets down, and over Zionazi occupied territory at that. That's tons of eggs all over their Polish-Lithuanian faces right there...
    • avatar
      Israels threat to destroy Syrian air defenses is a direct threat towards Russian military forces in the region, as they are involved in the air defense of Syria. Any attacks could result in the deaths of Russian personal, which would not be left unchallenged by Russia. Loss of Russian military personal would be bad enough, but to try to undermine Russian military technology, especially the S-300-400 systems after so much hype about its capability would not be tolerated. Any attack I believe would be met with a deadly Russian response against Israels military.
    • Mystic-One
      All the blood of the Saints, Martyrs, Prophets and our Lord Jesus Christ is on their heads.
    • Alan Reid
      in hearing the way this Jewish person talks it is pretty plain that the Syrian forces did in fact blow a Jewish F-16 into rubbish, and damaged another. The ground crews doing the shooting must be waiting for all those threats to come and play. A little success is a good thing. Scoring a kill and a hit is even better.
    • avatar
      Israel thinks it is invincible. One must forget even with the writer of the apartheid accusation, all buy the US agreed with it. One must also remember that even though Trump says he supports - he also lets others fight their own battles.
      Israel is not of eternal significance - they once had their land and lost it. They want a do-over but their God seems Mighty silent on their behalf.
    • avatar
      they should be very careful, their (over) confidence is showing. :)
    • avatar
      What imbecile authorized this BS article? Shame on you Sputnik.
    • avatar
      rmukarutabanain reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
      michael, They probably want to cause trouble in the hope of getting Trump to bomb Iran: provoke Iran by attacking Syria (pretending they're after Hezbullah), and if Iran reacts, attack it and call for US support...
      Or similarly stupid spoilt brat schemes, all of which will fail, because Iran will definitely refuse to be provoked.
    • avatar
      ronin reply toarpito(Show commentHide comment)
      arpito, Spot on with that one.
    • avatar
      Allsixsin reply toBalkanbandit(Show commentHide comment)
      Balkanbandit, First of all, the Israeli are not stupid to fly 4 jets all the way to the middle of Syria without the Russian knowledge and the green light to attack Syria, this green light was giving to Natenyahu when he met Putin about 10 days ago.
      Secondly what did Russia do when Turkey shut down the russian jet over Syria and killed the 2 pilots.
    • avatar
      terryjohnodgersin reply toBalkanbandit(Show commentHide comment)
      Balkanbandit, No it isn't! Russia knows full well why Israel is targetting Hezbollah terrorists inside Syria and have been turning a blind eye to Israeli attacks because of that reason.

      Syria is now defending an Iranian Terrorist organization against the state of Israel with its weaponry - and so it will be destroyed!
    • avatar
      terryjohnodgersin reply toMystic-One(Show commentHide comment)
      Mystic-One, why do you say this?
    • avatar
      terryjohnodgersin reply tormukarutabana(Show commentHide comment)
      rmukarutabana, you need to appreciate that if Israel is annihilated then the Iranians will have a free hand to do as they wish throughout the entire world.

      You need to understand the danger that Iran now represents.
    • avatar
      Balkanbanditin reply toAllsixs(Show commentHide comment)
      Allsixs, The reason Russia did not retaliate against Turkey were for strategic reasons, 1: Even though Turkey fired first, any airstrike back would have given NATO hot heads a reason to escalate the situation in the region which Russia was trying to avoid. 2: Russian sanctions against Turkey hurt their economy enough to force the Turks to tone down their behaviour. 3: Turkey is in a more important strategic position then Israel, Russian interest, in particular the gas pipeline Turkish stream is would have been compromised if the two countries escalated the conflict. 4: One aircraft lost is tragic but to destroy the entire air defense network of Syria is not a situation even the Russians would tolerate, as their technology would be compromised if it fails to defend the territory, particularly after the high level of propaganda about how deadly the S300-400 systems are. I am not anti Israel, but I am pro Russian and anti-Islamist, If Israel wants to fight Islamic terrorist then fine, but do it over Israel and Lebanon where they primary operate from not in Syria which has a problem with them. An attack on Syria˙s military infrastructure now only aids the Islamist and compromise security and stability in the region.
    • avatar
      rmukarutabanain reply toterryjohnodgers(Show commentHide comment)
      terryjohnodgers, Israel is definitely not about to be annihilated. And why should it? These are human beings like the rest of us.
      As for Iran, I don't see that it poses graver dangers than Israel does. Indeed, Israel is a source of much trouble. One may understand their fears, but how can these attacks on Syria, for instance, improve Israel's security?
    • avatar
      terryjohnodgersin reply tormukarutabana(Show commentHide comment)
      rmukarutabana, your comment to me suggests your naivety concerning the Middle East. One needs to take a step back into history to understand what we are now witnessing, however, Iran has been broadcasting loud and clear since 1979 its intention to first, destroy Israel, and then the United States.

      Iran like North Korea is a rogue state and it is well on the way to developing its own nuclear arsenal to put atop those ballistic missiles it is now testing - and guess where they will be headed once they have their bombs ready.

      Hezbollah is Iran's proxy army in Syria and Lebanon, both shia majority countries like Iran. Syria and Lebanon are shielding Hezbollah rocket and artillery attacks into Israel and that is why Israel now threatens Assad, Iran and Lebanon.
    • Alan Reid
      Iran a rouge state? What a moron you are. Iran is israel's worst nightmare. They are strong and can protect themselves against any force the whimp israeli might attempt. In a real fight the IAF is a loser. Their army cannot attack Iran because they would be wiped out in a very short time with plain old conventional weapons Iran paid for all by themselves. The rouge isralei can't do anything without getting the weapons from the Pockets of the American people. Rouge state eh? Yeah, sure.
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