(JTA) — Russia summoned its ambassador to Israel for clarifications following Israeli airstrikes in Syria.
Russia, which backs Syria’s embattled president, Bashar Assad, summoned its envoy, Gary Koren, on Friday less than 24 hours after the Israeli military action on Thursday night, according to The Times of Israel.
In a rare statement, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed to having carried out aerial strikes in Syria and intercepted missiles launched at its aircraft from the ground.
No Israelis were hurt during the strikes Thursday night or from the anti-aircraft fire, according to a statement by the IDF spokesman.
Israel is believed to have carried out several attacks on Syrian soil in recent years, but usually refrains from confirming or denying reports on its alleged actions there.
According to the nrg news site, the strikes were against targets affiliated with Hezbollah, possibly on a weapons shipment to the Shiite terrorist group, which is based in Lebanon but is fighting in Syria alongside Assad’s forces against rebels and Sunni militants.
Israeli “aircrafts targeted several targets in Syria. Several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria following the mission and IDF Aerial Defense Systems intercepted one of the missiles. At no point was the safety of Israeli civilians or the IAF aircraft compromised,” the IDF spokesman wrote.
The missiles were launched at the airplanes minutes after they had left Syrian airspace, according to nrg. Debris from the missiles, which were intercepted by the Arrow defense system over Jordan, landed on residential homes in the west of that country near Inba and Irbid.
The Syrian media reported that the country’s Defense Ministry claimed that one Israeli plane was downed and another was damaged from anti-aircraft fire. A ministry statement also vowed “a harsh response against the Zionist regime by all means available.”
Last week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Russia’s contribution to the fight against the Islamic State and Al Qaida during a one-day visit to Moscow.
Josefin Dolsten is a news fellow at the Forward. She writes about politics and culture, and edits the Sisterhood blog. She received an MA in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Government from Cornell University. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @josefindolsten.