Russia Denies Israeli Media Report of Firing on Warplanes

Netanyahu Talks Up Improved Communications in Moscow Visit

Israeli officials haven’t officially commented on the matter, but Russian government spokesman Dmitri Peskov has denied claims in the Israeli media that a confrontation between a Russian warplane and Israeli jets on the Syrian coast saw the Russian plane fire at the Israelis.

Several Israeli media outlets have offered starkly different versions of the story, including how many planes, where they were, and what happened. The most recent, from Yedioth Ahronoth, claims that the Russians fired on Israeli planes “at least twice.”

Interestingly, the claim is only made in the Hebrew-language version of Yedioth Ahronoth, and the paper’s English-language site, ynet, only mentions it in a Reuters story referencing the Hebrew version of their own paper.

Most reports put the incident along the southern Syrian coast, on the border with northern Lebanon. This would explain why Russia would be so anxious about such an incursion, as it would put the planes near their main base in Syria, the naval base in Tartus.

Though Israeli officials haven’t mentioned the matter specifically, it is said that President Reuven Rivlin had brought the issue up to Russia when it happened, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that his recent visit to Moscow has resulted in “improved cooperation.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.