An interesting scoop from Al Masdar News: Military sources say that Russian advisors embedded with the Syrian Army were operating “only a few kilometers” away from one of the Israeli airstrikes on Friday morning in western Palmyra.
According to the report, the Syrians also “informed” the Russians before launching several S-200 missiles at the Israeli fighter jets:
The Syrian Air Defense informed their Russian advisers regarding their intentions to retaliate against the Israeli warplanes that attacked their positions near Palmyra (Tadmur), a military source informed Al-Masdar on Monday.
Russian Marines advising the Syrian Arab Army in western Palmyra were only a few kilometers away from one of the sites the Israeli warplanes attacked on Friday morning.
Before Friday’s strikes, it was widely assumed that Israel was coordinating (or communicating) with Russia in order to avoid any “incidents” in Syria.
It’s possible that Israel’s ambassador to Russia was summoned because the Israelis came dangerously close to killing Russian forces operating in Syria.
Russia has sent a clear message to Israel that the rules of the game have changed in Syria and its freedom to act in Syrian skies is over, Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations said on Sunday night.
“Putin sent a clear message,” said Bashar Jaafari, speaking on Syrian television. “The fact is that the Israeli ambassador [to Russia] was summoned for a conversation only a day after he submitted his credentials [to the Russian Foreign Ministry last Thursday], and was told categorically that this game is over.”
Syria’s use of anti-aircraft fire against Israel last Thursday night has changed the rules of the game, too, Jaafari said, adding that Syria will not stand idly by in the face of an Israeli threat.
Although there are clear indicators that Russia is less than thrilled about these airstrikes, Damascus has been a bit “loose” with the facts. For starters, we’ve yet to see any real evidence that an Israeli fighter jet was shot down or even damaged.
But the fact that Moscow hasn’t jumped into the diplomatic boxing ring to defend Israel is bad news enough for Netanyahu.