Russia seeking UN condemnation of Israeli strike on Damascus airport

Jerusalem does not believe such a resolution will pass with Russia having destroyed numerous Ukrainian airports and seaports.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Moscow is preparing a resolution to formally condemn Israel at the United Nations Security Council over an airstrike in early June which saw Syria’s main international airport shuttered due to heavy damage, according to a report from Hebrew language Kan Reshet Bet.

The resolution will criticize Israel for violating Syria’s sovereignty and a violation of international law.

Russia, an ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has de facto control over Syria’s airspace, and has generally maintained a policy of looking the other way regarding Israeli air strikes on Iranian assets in the country.

However, Russia’s Foreign Ministry has made a number of high profile statements in recent months slamming Israel for air strikes in Syria, and denouncing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan.

A Russian resolution specifically calling out Israel for the attack would mark an unprecedented deterioration in security coordination between the two countries. Before the invasion of Ukraine, Moscow largely turned a blind eye to Israeli air strikes against Iranian entrenchment and weapons deliveries.

Notably, a senior Israeli official confirmed to Kan that Jerusalem is aware of the resolution and expects for it to be presented to the Council, but believes it will fail to pass.

The official stressed that “Iran continues to use Syrian territory and the airport for arms smuggling.”

Last week, the Israeli Ambassador to Russia was summoned by Russian officials for a dressing down over the airport strike.

“Serious concern was again expressed over the June 10 Israeli air force attack on the civilian airport of Damascus, which damaged the runway, navigation equipment and buildings, and disrupted international civilian air traffic,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The ambassador was told that the justification received from the Israeli side regarding the strike … was unconvincing and that Moscow expected additional clarification,” the statement added.

In May 2022, Russian soldiers used advanced anti-aircraft missiles to target Israeli jets carrying out airstrikes in Syria.

According to a report from Channel 13 News, the IAF had targeted a number of sites in northwestern Syria.

In a statement released shortly after the air raid, Syrian military forces said they launched dozens of anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli aircraft. Those missiles are not advanced enough to pose a risk to the IAF.

But, Channel 13 noted, S-300 batteries also fired on Israeli jets. The advanced anti-aircraft S-300 were donated to Syria by Moscow and are operated strictly by Russian military personnel.

In July 2021, Russia’s Defense Ministry issued rare public statements celebrating the success of Syria’s air defense system against missiles fired by the Israeli Air Force.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia has destroyed at least 15 Ukrainian airports, according to Kyiv.