Airstrikes carried out by the Israeli Air Force on Christmas Day may have been an attempt to trick the Syrian air defense system into shooting down two civilian passenger planes that were landing at Beruit and Damascus airports. The Syrian Arab air defense forces were forced to delay the use of surface to air missiles and electronic jamming in order to ensure the safety of all the passengers, before defending themselves. It seems Israel launched the attack on the early evening of Christmas day in order to take advantage of the usual bustle and chaos of Christmas day celebrations.
Israeli media claimed that Israeli warplanes struck a shipment of Iranian-made Fajir-5 rockets, which was on its way to Hezbollah. However, the Ministry of Defense of Syria said that the "aggression" targeted an ammo depot of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) injuring three service members.
Last September the Israeli Air Force actually succeeded in causing the Syrian air defenses to shoot down the Russian Il-20 plane, this caused the Russians to agree to install the much more advanced S-300 air defense system in Syria, that will become operational soon.
This may have been a ploy to reverse the decision by US president Donald Trump of removing all military forces from Syria and begin the process of leaving Afganistan. Had one or both the passenger planes been hit by the Syrian air defenses, the media outcry would have been unrelenting.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov accused Israel of endangering the lives of the passengers on the airliners. “Provocative acts by the Israeli Air Force endangered two passenger jets when six of their F-16s carried out airstrikes on Syria from Lebanese airspace.”
Donald Trump's decision to bring all US troops home from Syria has caused scathing attacks by neo-cons and the j-left alike, who have accused Trump of being "bad for Israel."
Nevertheless, an attack on Christmas Day is a new low by the Israeli military, as Christmas has historical significance as a time when the armies of the two world wars would stop fighting at least for that day.