Dr Mike Evans

Russia summons Israeli ambassador after Damascus airport strike

Russia summoned Israel’s ambassador Alexander Ben Zvi over concerns related to an airstrike at the Damascus International Airport last week.

The Russian leaders involved are concerned that Syria does not become a “theater of war” between outside parties, and urged respect for Syria’s “territorial integrity.”

“Israel realized its attacks until Friday’s strike had not prevented the transfer of Iranian weapon parts to Lebanon, according to military sources cited by Channel 12 news last weekend,” The Times of Israel reported.

“The report said Israel was thwarting some 70 percent of smuggling activities, and had decided to further ramp up its action, which included crippling the Syrian capital’s airport,” the report added.

The confrontation comes as Russia seeks to remain in control of Syrian airspace despite its ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian invasion has led to a difficult relationship with Israel, as it has diplomatic relations with both countries.

Both Ukraine and Russia also have large Jewish populations.

When the Ukraine invasion began, Israel sought to provide humanitarian assistance, sending 100 tons of supplies. The government also announced its effort to build a hospital in Ukraine.

As the war increased inside Ukraine, Israel’s relationship with Russia has been further strained. Israel opposes the war and support Ukraine, yet does not want to cause harm to Jewish populations in Russia through its response.

The thorny relationship has now spilled over even more into Syria as Israel seeks to cut off supplies to Syria from Iran that could be used to cause harm. Russia’s relationship with Iran also may serve as a factor, with Israel seeking to build a coalition to oppose Iran’s nuclear development, though Russia has long supported Iran’s independence in the matter.