The Syrian military refused to use air defense systems during Israeli airstrikes because of two civilian aircraft flying in the area, said the deputy head of the Russian Center for the reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria Rear Admiral Vadim Kulit.
The incident occurred on the evening of October 13, Kulit said, from 23:35 to 23.39 four tactical fighters F-16 of the Israeli Air Force "entered Syrian airspace in the area of the US-occupied territory of al-Tanf, located in the province of Homs.” As Kulit noted, Israeli aircraft attacked a phosphate processing plant located near Palmyra.
Because of the strike, one Syrian soldier was killed, the Russian Defense Ministry said, three more people were injured. Also, the strikes caused damage to the plant, destroyed the communication tower.
However, the Syrian military did not use air defense systems, the Russian Defense Ministry said. "At the time of the attack by Israeli aircraft, there were two civilian passenger aircraft Dubai — Beirut and Baghdad — Damascus in the zone of destruction of anti-aircraft systems, "said Kulit.
Damascus and Moscow previously reported Israeli attacks on targets in Syria. Late last week, Kulit reported a group of six Israeli Air Force fighter jets crossing the Syrian border in the al-Tanf area and firing 12 guided missiles at the T-4 airfield in Homs province. Kulit then pointed out that the Russian Pantsir air defense systems, which are in service with Syrian air defenses, shot down most of the missiles - eight of 12. Six Syrian soldiers were wounded in the strike.