Despite an agreement between Moscow and Tel Aviv to avoid air conflicts, Russian Su-34 fighters intercepted F-16 jets belonging to the Armed Forces of Israel, reported the newspaper The Times of Israel.
Russian Su-34 fighters intercepted Israeli F-16s in the Middle East. According to the report, the incident took place on the morning of May 28.
The Israeli newspaper pointed out that the Russian aircraft intercepted the Israeli aircraft despite a current agreement between Moscow and Tel Aviv to avoid conflicts in the air. The incident took place over Lebanon, near the Lebanese city of Tripoli. The paper pointed out that two F-16s were involved in the event, but it did not report how many Russian planes came close to them.
There is no official confirmation from either the Russian Defense Ministry or the Israeli military, the newspaper said.
The Times of Israel published a video of a Russian plane flying over Lebanon. The paper reported that the video was posted by a Twitter user named Abdallah Samra. Only one fighter is seen in the clip, and the Israeli paper pointed out that it is Russian. No Israeli planes are seen in the video.
The Israeli paper, citing Hadashot as its source, said that the Russian planes were possibly involved in training exercises near the coasts of Lebanon and Syria, but were forced to land due to bad weather conditions. The Arab newspaper Al Masdar reported that this was the first time in months that a Russian plane had entered Lebanese airspace from Syria. The paper said that witnesses had seen an Su-34 flying over Lebanon. The purpose of the flight is unknown, but it was most likely a reconnaissance flight, Al Masdar noted.