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Russia summoned Israeli ambassador over airstrikes in Syria

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the Israeli ambassador to demand an explanation for Israel’s airstrikes near Palmyra in Syria last week, Moscow has confirmed.

On Friday, Israeli planes attacked several targets in Syria. According to Israel’s Channel 2, an Israeli strike hit close to Russian troops.

Ambassador Gary Koren was called in by the Foreign Ministry after news about the strikes emerged.

Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, said Russia "expressed concern".

Syria’s air defence forces fired anti-aircraft missiles at the Israeli jets as they returned from the mission.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to destroy Syria’s air defences "without compromise" if they were used again against Israeli planes.

"Next time, if the Syrian aerial defense apparatus acts against our planes, we will destroy it. We won't hesitate. Israel's security is above everything else; there will be no compromise," Lieberman said.

Syria's army high command said Israeli jets attacked a target near Palmyra, in what it described as an act of aggression that aided Isis.

It carried out strikes to help "Isis terrorist gangs and in a desperate attempt to raise their deteriorating morale and divert attention away from the victories which the Syrian Arab Army is making in the face of the terrorist organisations", a Syrian army statement said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the strikes targeted weapons shipments to Hezbollah.

"Our policy is very consistent. When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah, and we have the intelligence and the operational capability, we act to prevent that. That is what was and that is what will be," he said.

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