In an unusual move, Prime Minister Netanyahu released a statement on Friday regarding the IAF airstrike on Syrian territory which happened earlier on Friday morning. Usually Israel does not comment on attacks of this kind.
“Our policy is very consistent. When we detect attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah, and we have the intelligence, and we have the operational feasibility, we act to prevent it. That’s what happened and that’s what will happen.”
Arab sources claim the weapons shipment that was destroyed were advanced North Korean missiles.
The Syrians responded to the attack on their territory by launching SAM missiles against the IAF airplanes. Israel shot those missiles using the Arrow-3 missile defense system. This was the first time the Arrow-3 was used in a real combat situation. The intercepted missile landed in Jordan, while the explosions were heard as far as Jerusalem and Modi’in.
Israel’s Ambassador to Russia, Gary Koren, was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday. According to Channel 2, the Ambassador was summoned because there were Russian troops near the strike zone. That might also explain why Israel did not hit the missile launchers.
Last week, Netanyahu held a conversation with Russian President Vladmir Putin discussing the situation in Syria.
It is generally believed that Russia was not only informed in advance of the attack, but it was done in coordination with them, to avoid any potential conflicts, whether diplomatic or in the air over Syria.
Russia has taken a lead role in propping up the Assad government in order to gain a new foothold in the Middle East.