The strike by the Israeli Air Force on Syrian territory is contrary to the principles of international law and leads to an unnecessary escalation of tensions. The Russian Foreign Ministry considers these steps to be incorrect, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said.
“We are, of course, in contact with all our partners, finding out the circumstances. Striking the territory of a sovereign state is completely contrary to the principles of international law and leads to an escalation of tensions, which no one needs,” Bogdanov said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken to Twitter to comment on the IDF strike against "dozens of military targets" allegedly belonging to Iran's Quds Force, an elite unit in the Revolutionary Guards Corps, and the Syrian Army.
"I made it clear that whoever is hurting us - will be hurt. This is what we did tonight against military targets of Iranian Quds force and Syrian military targets in Syria after last night's rocket launches were launched at Israel. We will continue to maintain Israel's security firmly," Netanyahu tweeted.
הבהרתי שמי שיפגע בנו - אנו נפגע בו. כך עשינו הלילה מול מטרות צבאיות של כוח קודס האיראני ומטרות צבאיות סוריות בסוריה, לאחר שאמש שוגרו משטחה רקטות לעבר ישראל. נמשיך לשמור בתקיפות על ביטחון ישראל.— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) November 20, 2019
His comment follows an early Wednesday statement issued by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), announcing that Israeli jets had pounded Syrian territory, attacking dozens of military targets allegedly belonging to Iranian and Syrian forces. Neither Damascus, nor Tehran have commented on the strikes so far.
According to the IDF, the targets included air-to-air missiles, warehouses, and various military facilities.
התקיפה בוצעה בתגובה לשיגור הרקטות על-ידי כוח איראני משטח סוריה לשטח ישראל, וכוונה לפגוע בשטח ישראל— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) November 20, 2019
The Israeli military said in the statement the air raid came in response to earlier rocket launches allegedly carried out by Syrian forces from Syrian territory that targeted Israeli territory.
The IDF blamed the "Syrian regime" for the attacks, vowing to continue "operating firmly and for as long as necessary against the Iranian entrenchment in Syria."
We hold the Syrian regime responsible for the actions that take place in Syrian territory and warn them against allowing further attacks against Israel.— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 20, 2019
We will continue operating firmly and for as long as necessary against the Iranian entrenchment in Syria.
Late on Tuesday, Syrian state-run broadcaster Al-Ikhbariya said that the nation's air defence systems had repelled an air assault on Damascus and its suburbs, adding that several missiles had been downed south of Damascus.
Syrian state-run news agency SANA clarified that missiles were fired by Israeli jets from the Golan Heights and Marj al-Ayoun and added that the air defences were able to destroy most of the missiles before they reached their targets.
On Tuesday, the IDF tweeted that the Iron Dome had intercepted four projectiles allegedly launched from Syria.
BREAKING: 4 launches were identified from Syria toward northern Israel.— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 19, 2019
We can confirm that all 4 were intercepted in the sky by Israeli air defense systems.
Syrian authorities haven't commented on the claims so far.
Israel previously admitted to carrying out hundreds of airstrikes against Syria over the past several years, claiming that the raids were aimed at countering an alleged Iranian military presence in the country. While Damascus has strongly condemned the strikes as a violation of its sovereignty, Tehran has on numerous occasions emphasised that its presence in Syria has only been limited to sending military advisers to help fight terrorism.