The airliner with 172 passengers, approaching for landing, almost fell under the fire of the Syrian army when it repelled an Israeli attack near Damascus. As a result, the plane was taken to a Russian air base, said Igor Konashenkov , an official spokesman for the Ministry of Defense.
According to the general, on Thursday after two in the morning four Israeli F-16 fighters without entering Syrian airspace launched a surprise attack with eight air-to-ground missiles in the suburbs of the capital of the Arab Republic. In response, Syrian government forces deployed anti-aircraft missile defense systems.
At this point, in the area of Damascus International Airport, the Airbus-320 passenger airliner was landing. As noted by Konashenkov, only thanks to the operational actions of the dispatchers of the capital’s airport and the efficient operation of the automated air traffic control system, it was possible to withdraw the airbus from the affected area and safely land it at the nearest alternate aerodrome – at the Khmeimim base .
The general emphasized that all over the world the movement of passenger flights is carried out in known high-altitude echelons, which Israel’s radar systems clearly see. He added that no less distinctly Israeli radars see the air situation in the area of Damascus airport.
“Thus, the Israeli General Staff’s conduct of military operations in the air using civilian aircraft with passengers to cover or block the response of the Syrian air defense forces is becoming a characteristic feature of the Israeli Air Force,” Konashenkov said. He regretted that “similar operations by Israeli strategists” “do not put the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians in anything.”
Source: RIA Novosti
An Airbus 320 that was attempting to land at Damascus Airport began lowering from 33,000 feet (about 10,000 meters) at 1:00 a.m. Wednesday through Thursday. About 13 minutes later, at only 2,000 meters in front of the Damascus landing track, an Israeli missile attack was launched, which caused it to exert a strong maneuver, increasing speed and returning to an altitude of about 8,200 meters. The maneuvering was circular until it finally ended northwest of Damascus at a runway near Latakia.