The Russian Foreign Ministry has called on all the parties involved in the ongoing military conflict in Syria to respect the territorial integrity of the country after Israel attacked positions inside the Arab country, saying that the creation of threats in Syria, where Russia is militarily present, is unacceptable.
"Moscow is deeply concerned with the latest developments and attacks on Syria. The danger of the escalation of tensions within and around the de-escalation zones, which have become an important factor in reducing violence in Syria, is of particular concern," the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
Syrian government forces "are complying with the existing arrangements to provide the consistent functioning of the de-escalation zone in the southwest of the country," it added.
"We urge all the involved parties to exercise restraint and avoid any steps that could lead to the aggravation of the situation. We consider it necessary to unconditionally respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other countries of the region."
On Saturday, the Syrian military targeted at least one intruding Israeli F-16 warplane that had attacked an army base in central Syria, sending it down in flames and smoke.
The Israeli military confirmed that one F-16 had gone down in northern Israel, and that its two pilots had ejected and had been located and transferred to hospital. It later announced that one of the pilots was in serious condition.
The Israeli military claimed that it had attacked positions inside the Syrian territory after it intercepted a drone launched from Syria on Saturday.
A pro-Syrian military alliance said later in the day that the Israeli claim about a drone intrusion was bogus, noting that Israel had targeted a drone base in Syria whose unmanned aircraft were used against the Daesh terrorist group.
Meanwhile, Syrian media reported later on Saturday that explosions were heard near the capital Damascus, as the Syrian air defense responded to “new Israeli aggression.”
Over the past years, Israel has frequently attacked targets in Syria, often claiming that it hit positions or convoys belonging to Iran. This is while Iran has no military presence in Syrian territory, only offering advisory military assistance to the Syrian government fighting an all-out foreign-sponsored militancy.