What coordination? Russia and Israeli warplanes play cat and mouse over Syria

Syrian media reported an Israeli air force attack Sunday, Nov. 1, after two sorties Friday night against Syrian army and Hizballah bases in the Qalamoun Mountains on the Lebanese border. The IDF declined to confirm or deny these reports. Syrian sources described a large number of Israeli airplanes as bombing a Hizballah unit based in the village of El Ain in northern Lebanon and the arms depot of the 155th Brigade of the Syrian army at Al-Katifa to the east.

The two targets are 70 km apart. So these air strikes must have targeted two key points along the Iranian arms supply route to Hizballah.

They also raise three important questions:

1. Did Israel’s Tel Aviv command center use the hotline to Russian headquarters to give Moscow prior warning of air strikes against Syrian and Hizballah targets, explaining that no harm was intended to the Russian military in Syria?

Hardly likely; the Russians would not be expected to tolerate Israeli bombardments so close to their own military enclave in Latakia province.

3.  Did the Israeli air force use electronic warfare measures to jam the tracking systems installed in Russian spy planes and air defense missile systems in Syria?

debkafile’s military sources have this answer: Israel and Russia have been conducting a clandestine electronic contest for 33 years, since the memorable episode in 1982, when the Israeli air force destroyed in a single strike the entire Russian air defense missile system installed in Syria.

Since then, the Russians have worked hard to develop electronic warfare measures for gaining on the Israeli edge, without much success.

This lapse may have recurred in the case of the Israeli air sorties Saturday.

Full article: What coordination? Russia and Israeli warplanes play cat and mouse over Syria (DEBKAfile)

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