On Monday, Israeli warplanes attacked the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, firing a slew of missiles at the city, and ending up getting a Russian plane shot down. On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reacted, terming the attack a breach of Syrian sovereignty.

While the downing of a Russian plane and the death of 15 Russian military personnel sparked a lot of anger, Putin seemed willing to absolve Israel, at least for now. He said that a lot of chance circumstances were at play in the incident.

That said, Putin was very clear that the violation of Syrian airspace was a problem, and warnedIsrael not to let the incident recur. That Israel carried out such an attack at all was clearly provocative.

Russia, after all, has negotiated with Israel repeatedly on the attacks of Syria, and while all the specifics aren’t public, one of the recurring messages from Russia was to stay away from the Tartus naval base. Monday’s attack was against a city very close to the base.

By Jason Ditz

 

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