Debkafiles – April 9, 2018
Moscow’s tone towards Israel turned hostile on Monday, April 9, after its claim that the IDF conducted an air strike on the Syrian T-4 airbase that morning. This claim was in itself a departure from the Kremlin’s longstanding line of letting Israel’s military operations pass without comment. Stepping away from this custom, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that two Israeli F-15 fighter jets carried out a guided missile air strike on the T-4 air base in Homs from Lebanese air space. Syria was said to have shot down 5 out of the 8 missiles fired, while three landed in the western part of the base. The Moscow statement stressed: “There were no Russian advisers among those injured” – 14 in all, according to some sources.
It was next announced that the Russian defense and foreign ministries asked their Israeli counterparts to provide “explanations” for air strikes on a “Syrian military facility.” And then, Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters that the “air strike carried out on Sunday on a Syrian air base was a dangerous development.” A few hours later, the Russian Foreign Ministry criticized what it described as Israel’s “indiscriminate use of force against the civilian population” in the Gaza Strip, calling it “unacceptable.”