Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would not deny Israeli responsibility for an air strike in Syria on Sunday.
Speaking with reporters during his visit to Chad, PM Netanyahu only affirmed the standing policy: “We have a permanent policy to hurt the Iranian entrenchment in Syria, and everyone who is trying to hurt us,” Netanyahu said, in the Chadian capital N’Djamena, before returning to Israel.
“This policy doesn’t change, whether I am in Israel or on a historic visit in Chad. It’s permanent,” he said, according to the Times of Israel.
Syria’s claim that Israeli planes had attacked was backed up by the Russian military, which said it was blocked by the country’s air defenses.
The strike came hours after a Syrian cargo plane landed at Damascus International Airport from Tehran, according to publicly available flight data. Israel and American defense officials have charged that Iran and Syria have been using civilian cargo planes as a cover for transporting advanced weaponry to Hezbollah and other terror groups.
Another flight, flown by Tehran’s Mahan Air carrier, was headed for Syria on Sunday afternoon, but turned back following the reported Israeli strikes, according to flight data. Mahan Air is suspected of carrying war matériel from Iran to Syria. As a result, it has incurred sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department.