An Arab language news network in Iran reports Russian fighter jets intercepted Israeli aircraft on an espionage mission near the Syrian border on Sunday. Alalam quotes the Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth daily as saying the Russians forced the Israeli aircraft to change course after they were detected with radar. The Russians blocked the Israeli aircraft while flying over the Akkar region of northern Lebanon and sent a warning they would open fire if they violated Syrian airspace. According to the Iranian HispanTV website the Israeli mission was to spy in Russian ships docked at Tartus where Russia maintains a naval facility.
Additionally, the Iranians reported, the Israelis wanted to monitor the movement of Russian aircraft at the Latakia air base to detect “alleged transfer of arms to Lebanese Hezbollah militias.” In September Israel and Russia reached an agreement to coordinate military actions over Syria in order to avoid trading fire. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after a meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin the agreement was intended to “prevent misunderstandings between IDF (Israel Defense Force) units and Russian forces” in Syria. MORE