''Israel is above the law. The fault lay with the person who didn't hide and died''

Anhar Kochneva’s column about who’s guilty in the incident with the downed Il-20 in the sky over Syria

The Russian Il-20 plane was downed in the sky over the Mediterranean Sea on the night of 18 September. The Russian Ministry of Defence accuses Israel of what happened. The wrecks of the aircraft and the crew's bodies were lifted from the water already, while the Israeli ambassador was called to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In today's column written for Realnoe Vremya, our Near Eastern columnist Anhar Kochneva studies the situation and tries to find out the consequences.

Israel launched missile strikes more than 200 times

As an Arab has it: 'He who plays with a cat must be expected to be scratched.' What was to happen sooner or later happened on the night of 18 September: committing constant acts of aggression against Syria without impunity, Israel provoked the death of the Russian aircraft, which was on the line of fire between four Israeli military planes and Syrian Anti-Aircraft Warfare, which reflected the strikes on sites on this country's territory. The tragedy could have been avoided if Russia's position on previous similar provocative attacks hadn't been so accommodating. And the Russian Ministry of Defence would consider a debt of honour to back its ally from treacherous attacks of its southern neighbour.

Recently published data suggest that Israel has launched missile strikes on different facilities and army positions in Syria more than 200 times in the last several years. And as Russia-24 channel's correspondent Sergey Pashkov claimed in a comment for the channel, at least 113 people had died as a result of such attacks in Syria only in the last two months.

''Israel have launched missile strikes on different facilities and army positions in Syria more than 200 times in the last several years.'' Photo: utro.ru

Double irresponsibility

Residents of Syria, as well as many Russians staying tuned for events in this country, stopped understanding a long time ago: why is Russia so indifferent to Israel's attacks on its ally? And it not only doesn't help to oppose barbarian bombardment of positions of the Syrian army, different infrastructural facilities and enterprises but also doesn't try to prevent them. The Russian Defence Ministry admitted the fact it received notifications about planned acts of aggression quite a long time ago.

To be honest, it looks like: ''Please, don't take Vasenka to the kindergarten tomorrow, we're going to pour rat poison into his kompot.'' Oh, by the way, this time we've been warned one minute beforehand… If it had been done earlier, wouldn't anybody call the Israeli ambassador on the carpet in the building on Smolenskaya Street (Editor's Note: the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) today? And nobody feels sorry for the Syrians there.

Yesterday's acts of Israel, which led to the death of 15 Russian citizens and destruction of the Russian plane, were called by the Russian defence ministry as ''irresponsible''. And what does this ministry think of the actions of the country on 16 September evening when it fired at the Damascus international airport again? Responsible, do I understand correctly? Rockets were flying above the heads of numerous visitors to the exhibition, which was open on those days in a local exhibition centre. By the way, exhibits from Russia and other CIS countries also took part in it.

Israeli military cutters enter this country's territorial waters several times a month. Photo: topwar.ru

Provocations against Lebanon

Israel is above the law. Apart from numerous bombardment of the Syrian territory, there is a constant provocation against neighbouring Lebanon. Israeli military cutters enter this country's territorial waters several times a month. Several unmanned spy vehicles fly above southern territories of Lebanon every day. I often see them during my trips across the country. In addition, the Israelis even don't consider important to keep up appearances: one can hear and see the unmanned vehicles very well.

From time to time I hear Israeli military planes even above my house, which is 70 km from the border, flying to strike Syria from the side of Lebanon, which almost doesn't have its own anti-aircraft warfare (there are just several anti-aircraft guns made in the Soviet Union in the late 60s). You won't find information about this provocation in the Russian press. But I will never believe Russian diplomats are unaware of it. What are the consequences of the night incident? Will they change anything in the Russian position, which is to try to have its cake and eat it? Unfortunately, the second option is unlikely. And the Israelis will keep torturing Syria on the sly, which is already blooded. And they will warn the Russian side before every new bombardment with care. The fault lay with the person who wasn't warned, who didn't hide and died.

By Anhar Kochneva

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