Photo Credit: Ofer Zidon / Flash 90
A close up photo of the "Valley" squadron F-16 take off, at Ramat David Airbase.

For the first time, Russian forces fired at Israeli combat pilots as they flew the skies of Syria to attack Iranian military targets.

IAF Hits Iranian Targets in Syria, 5 Killed – Report

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Five people were killed and seven more were injuried in the alleged Israeli missile attack late Friday on the Masyaf area in Syria’s Hama countryside. “The Israeli enemy carried out airstrikes with a burst of missiles, targeting some points in the central region,” Syria’s official SANA news agency reported.

“Israeli warplanes launched at least eight missiles on weapons depots and Iranian sites in the Masyaf area” in the central province of Hama, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Israel’s Channel 13 News reported the incident Monday night (May 16), quoting “foreign publications” as the source.

According to the report, several surface-to-air missiles were launched from Russian-made S-300 aerial defense batteries.

Those systems are operated solely by Russian forces, which control the country’s airspace as well as much of its territory.

The missile fire did not pose a threat to Israel Air Force aircraft – the S-300 radar did not “lock” on the planes — but the incident itself sets a disturbing precedent.

The incident also raises questions about whether the Kremlin is changing its hands-off policy regarding Israel’s right to act against Iranian threats in Syria, the news outlet pointed out.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.