Middle East

Russia refutes reports of intercepting Israeli jets over Lebanon

Moscow has rejected an Israeli media report that a Russian jet intercepted the regime’s warplanes over Lebanon, saying Russian aircraft conduct no mission in Lebanese skies.

On Monday, Hadashot TV news reported that two Israeli F-16 warplanes had been challenged by a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 jet over Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli and forced away.

The report also claimed that the Russian plane may have been taking part in drills off the coast of Lebanon and Syria, but was forced to land due to bad weather conditions.

The Russian Defense Ministry, however, dismissed any such face-off.

“The information spread by one of the Israeli news outlets about an alleged ‘interception’ of two Israeli F-16s by a Russian Su-34 in Lebanese airspace is amateur nonsense,” the ministry said.

It further noted that “the Su-34 multirole bombers, which belong to the Russian air group in Syria, are not used for flights to intercept aerial targets and do not perform tasks in the airspace of Lebanon.”Russian jets have been conducting air raids against Daesh and other terror outfits inside Syria at the Damascus government’s request since September 2015.

The airstrikes have helped Syrian forces advance against militants, who have been wreaking havoc in the Arab country since 2011.

Israel has frequently attacked military targets inside Syria in a bid to prop up terrorist groups against Syrian government forces.

Additionally, Israeli warplanes regularly violate Lebanon’s sovereignty and attack targets belonging to the Hezbollah resistance movement, which has been successfully helping Syria contain Takfiri militancy.

Israel launched two wars on Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, in both of which Hezbollah inflicted heavy losses on the regime’s military. Israeli officials have threatened to stage another war on Lebanon.

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