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Russia fired at Israeli jets in Syria: Report

Russian forces in Syria have fired at least twice on Israeli military aircraft, Israel’s top-selling newspaper says.

The Yedioth Ahronoth daily on Friday gave no dates or locations for the incidents nor any indication Israeli planes were hit.

Separately, Israel’s Channel 10 TV said a Russian warplane approached an Israeli warplane off the Mediterranean coast of Syria last week but that there was no contact between them.

Israel has repeatedly violated Syrian airspace and bombed targets inside the country which is fighting foreign-backed militants.

Visiting Moscow on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly raised the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In an apparent allusion to Syria, Putin said: “I think there are understandable reasons for these intensive contacts, given the complicated situation in the region.”

According to Yedioth, the reported Russian fire on Israeli planes was first raised with Putin by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who visited Moscow on March 15.

At the time, Putin responded that he was unaware of the incidents, Yedioth said.

This is not the first report of alleged confrontations between Israeli and Russian warplanes in Syria.

Last month, the Israeli daily Haaretz said King Abdullah II of Jordan had claimed that Jordanian jets helped Israeli warplanes confront Russian aircraft on the southern Syrian border at an unspecified time.

Abdullah reportedly made the remarks to US Congressmen on January 11 without disclosing the date of the purported confrontation.

“We saw the Russians fly down, but they were met with Israeli and Jordanian F-16s,” Abdullah boasted.  “The Russians were shocked and understood they could not mess with us,” he added.


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