Passenger Plane Nearly Hit by Syrian Missiles

Khmeimim, the Russian base in Syria where the passenger plane landed Khmeimim, the Russian base in Syria where the passenger plane landed BBC

12 February 2020

An Airbus A320 made an emergency landing in Russian air base to avoid a Syrian airstrike

On 6 February, a plane carrying 172 passengers narrowly avoided being hit by Syrian missiles meant to respond to an Israeli attack earlier that day. Fortunately, due to an emergency landing in the Russian-controlled Khmeimim Air Base, the plane was able to escape the airstrike. 

The Israeli attack that prompted Syria’s retaliatory strike is one of thousands of Israeli airstrikes in Syria in recent years. Israel’s military actions in Syria are largely carried out in response to Iran’s presence in Syria. Israel wants to deter Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from continuing relations with Iran and allowing them to build up their military in Syria. The Russian military, the hosts of the passengers in their avoidance of the missiles, has sided with Syria and supplied equipment to Syrian forces. On 6 February, Israeli forces struck Damascus, and Syrian air defense forces almost struck the passenger plane in an attempt to repel the Israeli attack. 

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov blames Israel for the near catastrophe accusing Israel’s military of “using the presence of civilian airliners as a shield against Syrian anti-aircraft fire.” Amos Yadlin, head of Israel’s leading national security think-tank, as well as a retired major general in the Israeli Air Force, however, denies these allegations. Yadlin stated on Twitter that Russia, was “frustrated with the Syrian air defense failure” and are now placing the blame on Israel who Yadlin claims actually “tries to operate in hours with little civilian traffic.”


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Author: Noelle Musolino; Editor: Vito Quaglia

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