Russia strongly condemned Israel’s airstrikes at targets in Syria on July 2, and demanded that Israel stop delivering strikes in Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday, according to TASS.
“Once again, we stress that ongoing Israeli strikes at the Syrian territory are categorically unacceptable. We strongly condemn such irresponsible actions, which violate Syria’s sovereignty and the basic norms of international law, and demand their unconditional cessation,” Zakharova said.
Israel’s ambassador to Moscow was summoned to the Russian foreign ministry and was rebuked for the attack.
TASS noted that on July 2, Israeli warplanes fired several missiles at targets in Syria’s Tartus province wounding two civilians and damaging civil infrastructure.
Tartus, near which the attack took place, is the second-largest port city in Syria after Latakia. It is located about 15 miles from the border with Lebanon (north of Tripoli), and its port also serves as a Russian naval base. Locating its naval base in Tartus helped the Russians support the stability of the Assad regime. It also happens to be Moscow’s only naval base in the Mediterranean region, so Israel’s alleged decision to bomb nearby kind of poked the bear.
Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that the Israeli bombing targeted areas that were “former animal pens in the area used by the Lebanese Hezbollah to transport weapons.” The observatory added that “the voices of the regime’s air defense forces were not heard because the targeting was sudden.”
Hours after the July 2 attack, Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdullahian landed in Damascus and was received by his Syrian counterpart Faisal Makdad. This probably suggests that Israel allegedly hit something vital.
Israel has allegedly carried out hundreds of attacks in recent years in Syria, in an attempt to prevent Iran from smuggling precision missiles and precision missile production equipment for Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran’s proxy militias operating north of Syria’s border with Israel. The Iranians are also trying to smuggle to the Syrian army air-defense systems to protect Syria and the Iranian bases in the country from attacks by the Israeli Air Force. These smuggling operations are done through three channels: on land, through the overland corridor that passes through Iraq and Syria, and from there to Lebanon; In the air, through the Revolutionary Guards Airline; and at sea, using supposedly innocent merchant ships moored in the ports of Tartus and Latakia, the only ports large enough to handle major cargo of fuel and containers.