Russian civilian aircraft makes emergency landing due to Syrian air defense missiles

MOSCOW – Four Israeli military aircraft fired eight missiles at targets around Damascus on Thursday at the same time a Russian civilian flight from Tehran to Damascus was in the air. Syrian air defenses brought down several of the missiles but almost mistakenly hit the Russian civil plane.

The official Russian Information Agency quoted a Russian Ministry of Defense spokesperson today as saying that the plane, an Airbus A320 carrying 172 passengers, conducted an emergency landing at Khmeimim Air Base near the city of Latakia in western Syria to avoid being struck by Syrian air defenses which were trying to counter the Israeli attack.

Quoting the spokesman, the agency added that four Israeli F-16 fighters fired eight air-to-surface missiles at targets on the outskirts of Damascus after two o’clock in the morning without entering Syrian airspace.

According to Russia Today, the Russian Defense Ministry also added that using civilian aircraft as a “shield” is “commonplace” for Israeli Air Force pilots.

A spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, stated that, “Tel Aviv monitors the movement of civil aviation and air activity around Damascus, day and night. Such reckless operations are evidence of the Israeli officials’ lack of interest in possible human losses.”