This takes the "blame Russia" cake. With a S-200 on top.
"The serious exchange of missile fire between Israel and Syria early Friday morning reflects the Assad regime’s attempts to change the unofficial rules of the game."
So begins a column published in Israel's Haaretz.
The newspaper is of course referring to the Israeli jets that "breached Syrian air space early in the morning and attacked a military target near Palmyra", apparently in an attempt to "aid" Islamic State forces.
According to reports, it's suspected that the Syrian Army responded to this "breach" by firing off a few S-200 missiles.
But Haaretz saves the best pouting for last:
Presumably the Syrian anti-aircraft salvo was a signal to Israel that the regime’s policy of restraint in the face of the airstrikes will not remain as it was. President Bashar Assad’s recent successes – first and foremost the conquest of Aleppo – have seemingly increased the dictator’s confidence. Israel will have to decide whether the operational need – to thwart advanced weapons shipments to Hezbollah – also justifies the possible risk of the downing of an Israeli fighter jet and a broader conflict developing with Syria.
There is an interesting question as to whether the aircraft detection radar system was deployed by Israel’s new great friend, Russia, precisely one week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned from Moscow after yet another successful visit to see President Vladimir Putin.
One can imagine that the intelligence community will also be interested to learn whether the Syrian decision to fire back was coordinated with Assad’s collaborators and partners: Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.
So much to unpack here.
- Syria's decision to defend itself from hostile, foreign jets dropping bombs on Syria shows a lack of "restraint" on Assad's part, according to Haaretz
- Who or what forced Israel to use its missile shield? Probably the Russians, and not the Israelis, who bombed a foreign country and apparently just assumed that there would be no consequences. Yes, this makes sense — if you write for Haaretz
- One can imagine that the whole world will be interested to learn why Israel thinks it can bomb a sovereign nation without consequences.
- Syria decided to defend its own country against illegal Israeli airstrikes? Putin betrayed Netanyahu! Putin betrayed Israel!