Russian Federation summons Israeli envoy following IDF strikes in Syria

Eitan unmanned aerial vehicle

Russia's foreign ministry yesterday summoned Israel's ambassador over air strikes close to Moscow's forces near the historic Syrian city of Palmyra. Earlier on Monday, media reported that Koren was summoned for a second time.

The Israel Air Force reportedly struck out against Hizbullah targets.

A senior army officer said on Monday that Israel had fired its Arrow missile at a Syrian rocket which posed a "ballistic threat" during clashes over the weekend.

"Four Israeli planes penetrated our air space at 2:40 am (0040 GMT) via Lebanese territory and hit a military target on the way to Palmyra", the army said in a statement carried by state news agency SANA. It marked the first time Israel had used the Arrow missile, which has been jointly developed with the USA over years to defend against long-range missiles from Iran.

"Next time, if the Syrian aerial defense apparatus acts against our planes, we will destroy it", Avigdor Lieberman told Israeli Public Radio on Sunday.

Moscow, Mar 21 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said Russian Federation can play an important role in the crisis following Syria's firing missiles at israeli warplanes carrying out strikes in the conflict-torn country.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed the Friday attacks, which started the latest flurry, targeted a weapons convoy intended for Hezbollah forces, who are in Syria fighting alongside the government against ISIS and other rebel forces.

The heightened tension highlights how Russia's assistance to Assad has raised the stakes along the border with Israel. Those attacks haven't been challenged by Syria, for the most part. This month, Netanyahu traveled to Moscow to try to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin that Iran shouldn't be strengthened by the war.

"We need to ask: Will Russia accept the continuation of Israeli activity in Syria, or will it decide to put an end to it?" he said.

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