Russian forces may have opened fire at Israel’s jets in Syria, according to a report.
The alleged attack is believed to have taken place in Syria on Friday last week, according to Israel’s Channel 13 news.
Newsweek has not been able to independently verify whether the attack did take place and whether it was the act of Russian forces.
The unsourced report alleges that Russia used its S-300 anti-aircraft missiles as the Israeli jets attacked targets in Northwestern Syria.
On Friday night, at least five people were killed and seven injured in the alleged airstrike, according to Syria’s state news agency. However, other media in the country claimed that six people were killed.
The reports indicated that the Syrian military fired off dozens of anti-aircraft missiles at the Israeli jets. As well as this, Syria’s S-300 batteries, that are operated by the Russian military and cannot fire without their approval, were also used against the jets. The reports also claimed that S-300 radar did not manage to lock onto the Israeli jets.
Russia, a close ally of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, has forces based and operating in Syria.
Beyond providing Syria with its air defenses, Moscow also maintains state-of-the-art S-400 air defense systems to protect its own assets in Syria, but has never turned them on Israeli planes.
Tensions between Russia and Israel have remained high since Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in February.
This was intensified after comments at the beginning of May from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as he said that Adolf Hitler may have had “Jewish blood.”
After this, Putin offered an apology to Isreali Prime Minister Naftali Bennett according to Israeli media outlets.
“Israel PM office says: Putin apologized to PM Bennett for Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s anti-semitic remarks,” tweeted Amichai Stein, a journalist with Israel’s KAN News.
“Bennett thanked Putin for the president’s attitude toward the Jewish people and the memory of the Holocaust,” Stein said.
However, the Kremlin denied that Putin apologized to the prime minister and issued a statement detailing the phone conversation the pair had.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the leaders’ talks were “exactly as disclosed” in the statement, The Cradle reported.
The denial could intensify already strained tensions between Russia and Israel that stemmed from Lavrov’s controversial remarks. The conflict may cause Russia to lose a key Middle East ally in Israel, which has so far taken somewhat of a mediator role in the Russia-Ukraine war by expressing support for Ukraine while refraining from publicly criticizing Moscow.
Newsweek has contacted the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israel’s Ministry for Defense for comment.