IDF strikes reported on Latakia Monday targeting Iranian arms depot and technical industries park used for chemical weapons research and production; Syrian army reported to have accidentally downed Russian aircraft with 15 servicemen.
Syrian army defense systems reportedly downed a Russian aircraft following Israeli strikes on Latakia Monday night.
Strikes were reported on multiple locations in Latakia late Monday, one of the targets the Organization for Technological Industries used by Assad’s regime and Iranian forces. The site has been known for chemical weapons research and production. The strikes reportedly thwarted a missile shipment and hit an additional Iranian arms depot.
Mixed reports in Arab media claimed drones and Israeli jets carried out the airstrikes. Initially, Lebanese forces reported that the French frigate Auvergne also carried out strikes from the Mediterranean Sea. The reports were later refuted.
Lebanese media claimed Israeli jets attacked from their airspace, with Russian media reporting four Israeli F-16’s carrying out the attacks.
The strikes, which reportedly lasted for over a half hour, triggered Syrian army missile defense systems which downed several of the incoming missiles.
Following the strikes, Russia announced that its Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft with 15 personnel had disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea. Shortly after, a US military official reported to CNN that the Syrian army missile defense systems had accidentally downed the aircraft. On Tuesday morning, Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed the events, releasing the statement “a Russian Il-20 aircraft was lost when it was over the Mediterranean Sea, some 35 kilometers from the Syrian coast, on its way back to Hmeymim airbase.”
Russia’s TASS agency reported following, “The trace of the Il-20 on flight control radars disappeared during an attack by four Israeli F-16 jets on Syrian facilities in Latakia province. At the same time Russian air control radar systems detected rocket launches from the French frigate Auvergne which was located in that region.”
NATO continues to build up its forces in the Mediterranean, deploying its 2nd Standing Maritime Group to the Sea. The NATO ships are moving closer to Syria, as confirmed recently by a captain of one of the Dutch frigates.
Israel’s last strikes in Syria were on Saturday. The IDF carried out strikes in Syria targeting an Iranian arms depot as well as a recent Iranian weapons shipment to Syria. Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Israel’s red lines and preemptive strikes in Syria and with Iran on Sunday, stating “Israel is constantly working to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with advanced weaponry. Our red lines are as sharp as ever and our determination to enforce them is stronger than ever.”
The IDF recently confirmed it has carried out over 200 strikes on Iranian and terror targets in Syria in the past 18 months. A report released on Monday by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that 114 Iranians in Syria have been killed in the past five months, 113 of which were soldiers and officers killed in the past month.
Be sure to watch Amir’s update on these developments.