Israel carried out yet another strike on the Syrian coast this weekend, which reportedly wounded two civilians. Russia has been getting more forceful in its denunciations of these strikes which have occurred on an almost weekly basis across various parts of Syria, especially around Damascus over the past few years.
Russia on Monday condemned the latest and other recent attacks as "categorically unacceptable" and demanded they cease immediately. During the early years of Israeli attacks which almost always claimed to be targeting "Iranian assets", Russia remained relatively quiet.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, "We strongly condemn such irresponsible actions that violate the sovereignty of Syria and the basic norms of international law, and we demand their unconditional cessation." Also, the Syrian government denounced what it called Israel's "air aggression".
Despite literally hundreds of such strikes, Israeli media reports acknowledged Saturday's attack as rare:
The relatively rare daytime strike on Saturday targeted an area near the Syrian town of al-Hamidiyah, south of Tartus, which is home to Russia’s main naval base in the region. Two civilians were injured and serious damage was caused to civilian infrastructure, Moscow said.
Syrian state sources say that "poultry farms" were targeted in the attack; however, both Israeli and Syrian opposition sources claim that a weapons shipment en route to Hezbollah in Lebanon was hit.
"Quoting a military source, Syria’s state-run SANA news agency said the missiles were launched Saturday by Israeli fighter jets over the Mediterranean Sea, west of the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, at the Syrian town of al-Hamidiyah, south of Tartus," The Times of Israel describes.
"While most alleged Israeli attacks in Syria typically take place under the cover of darkness, Saturday’s alleged strike was conducted at around 6:30 a.m., during daylight hours."
To call these solely "Israeli" strikes on Syria is misleading. They're Israeli-US strikes on Syria. According to WSJ, "Israel secretly coordinates with the U.S. on many of the airstrikes it carries out in Syria."https://t.co/kWGR8uXIWi pic.twitter.com/8aaFaXaLcq— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) July 2, 2022
While Russia has supplied Syria with anti-air systems and missiles, and has also had a robust military presence in Syria to defend the Assad government since its 2015 military intervention at the invitation of Damascus, it has never acted against Israeli airstrikes.
Israel for its part, has tried to stay somewhat on the sidelines of the Ukraine war, refusing to send military hardware of much significance despite the urging of Washington. Very likely, Israel fears that arming Ukrainians in any major way would embolden Russia in Syria to act against Israeli warplanes.