Russia Outs Israel and Jordan in Syria-Iraq Border Strike

'The intensity of Israel's missile and bomb attacks increased sharply,' Foreign Ministry says in a statement accusing Israel of violating Jordanian airspace

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A picture by Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows people inspecting damaged buildings following a reportedly Israeli air strike on the Syrian village of Beit Saber, southwest of the capital Damascus, November 20, 2019.
People inspecting damaged buildings following a reportedly Israeli air strike on the Syrian village of Beit Saber, southwest of the capital Damascus, November 20, 2019.Credit: AFP

The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Israel Wednesday of violating Jordanian airspace when Israeli aircrafts flew over the country on Monday on their way to attack targets near the Syrian-Iraqi border.

According to Moscow, the attack, along with three other Israeli aggressions this week have increased tensions and potential of further conflict around Syria. 

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A series of recent strikes in Iraq, some in the western part of the country, near the Syrian border, has been attributed to Israel. The attacks targeted Shiite militias affiliated with Iran and their convoys, allegedly involved in smuggling weapons into the territory.

Israel did not claim responsibility for the attacks, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on several occasions that he would not hesitate to expand the limits of the Israeli campaign against Iran's influence in the region.

"The intensity of Israel’s missile and bomb attacks on Syria increased sharply lately," the ministry said in a statement, claiming that an Israeli Air Force aircraft fired 40 cruise missiles on targets in Damascus' suburbs on Tuesday overnight.

On Wednesday morning, the Israeli army admitted it attacked more than 20 targets belonging to Iran's Quds Force and Bashar Assad's army in and around Damascus. The attack was carried out in response to four rockets launched at Israel from Syria, and intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system on Tuesday, said the Israeli army. 

According to Israeli defense sources, the rockets were fired following a directive from Iran.

The Russian statement also accuses Israel of firing missiles 18 kilometers south of the Syrian capital on Monday.

Moscow further criticized Israel for the November 12 attack on an Islamic Jihad commander's house in the center of Damascus, alleging that it "killed and wounded Syrian civilians and caused significant damage to property and buildings."

The strike targeting top Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Akram Al-Ajouri killed one of his sons. Media reports and Syrian and Palestinian officials attributed it to Israel, but it never confirmed or denied the allegations.

"These events are causing serious concern and resentment in Moscow," said the foreign ministry, urging Israel "to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other states in the region."

"Israeli actions have ratcheted up tension and conflict potential of the situation around Syria, and are running counter to the efforts to normalize the situation and achieve stability and a political settlement in Syria," concluded the statement.