Russia called on Israel to rule out the practice of carrying out ‘arbitrary’ airstrikes in Syria, the spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, told a press briefing.
“The practice of arbitrary strikes on the territory of a sovereign state, in this case, we are talking about Syria, should be ruled out,” Zakharova said, in answer to a question from Russian news agency TASS about recent Israeli air strikes on Syria.
“The escalation of hostilities in the region is not in line with the interests of Middle East states, including Israel,” she added.
At least 21 soldiers were killed in the extensive Israeli strikes on Syria overnight Sunday, in response to surface-to-surface missiles launched by Iranian forces from Syria toward Israel, a war watchdog reported on Tuesday.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the death toll included 15 “foreign nationals”, of which at least 12 were members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Syrian state-run news outlets said that at least four Syrian soldiers were killed in the strikes.
Syrian military air defenses destroyed more than 30 cruise missiles and guided bombs during the Israeli air strikes. In response, the IDF targeted Syrian air defense units.
The targets struck by the IDF include munition storage sites, an Iranian intelligence site, an Iranian military training camp, a military site located in the Damascus International Airport and weapons warehouses in other locations.
Earlier on Sunday, the IDF activated the Iron Dome anti-air missile battery against at least two missiles incoming from Syria towards the Mount Hermon area in northern Israel. No damage or injuries reported in Israel.
Syria’s envoy to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari threatened on Tuesday that if the UN did not halt Israeli strikes on Iranian weapons in his country, Syria would retaliate with an attack on Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv.