On August 25, 2022, Syria's official news agency SANA reported that the Israeli air force had attacked targets near the cities of Hama and Tartous in the northwest of the country. According to the Saudi Al-Arabiya channel and the Syrian Human Rights Observatory, affiliated with the Syrian opposition, the attack targeted a military research facility in the town of Masyaf in the western Hama Governorate, which is operated by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and a facility for the production and storage of Iranian missiles. According to the reports, the strikes caused extensive fires and explosions were heard for many hours.
The images of the fires in Masyaf, along with Israeli media reports that, a few days prior to the airstrike, Russia had removed a battery of S300 aerial defense missiles from the area (apparently for reasons having to do with the war in Ukraine), elicited responses from many Syrians on social media, who expressed criticism and anger at Russia. The critics, among them Syrian field commanders and figures close to the Assad regime, as well as Syrian citizens who support the regime, slammed Russia for greenlighting the Israeli attacks, and some even accused it of betraying its Syrian ally.
Fires in the aftermath of the attack in Masyaf (Source: Facebook.com/msyaf.news, https://www.facebook.com/%D8%AA%D8%AC%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%A9-1797092437209742, August 25, 2022)
It should be noted that criticism of this sort has been heard from regime supporters in the past.
This report presents some of the criticism against Russia expressed by Syrians on social media.
Prominent Syrian Businessman: Israel Is Attacking With Russian Consent
Some Syrian regime supporters claimed that there is cooperation between Russia and Israel in the context of the Israeli airstrikes. The head of Syria's Federation of Chambers of Industry, Fares Al-Shehabi, who has spoken in the past about Russia's failure to respond to the Israeli operations, wrote following the attack on Hama and Tartous that Russia consents to these attacks. He tweeted on August 26: "Russia-Israel relations are much deeper than we think. The Syrian-Russian alliance and cooperation agreements will not change this, nor will a few declarations of solidarity with Russia [made by Syrians] on public media! Israel will continue to attack [Syria] with Russian acquiescence, until we ourselves draw the line!"
Commander Of Assad Militia To Russia: We Need Deeds, Not Declarations And Condemnations
Jihad Barakat, the commander of the Syrian regime's Maghawir Al-Ba'th militia, who is married to the cousin of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, wrote on Facebook, hinting at Russia: "[Our dear] allies, we do not need declarations, we need actions." Commenting on his own post, he wrote: "We have had enough condemnations."
Syrian Media Activist: The Russian Umbrella That Should Defend Us Is Full Of Holes
Pro-Assad media activist Fatima Salman wrote on August 25 on her Facebook page: "It seems that the Russian umbrella is full of holes and is unable to defend anyone. The barbaric [Israeli] strike on Tartous and Masyaf is a disgrace for Syria's [Russian] allies."
Pro-Assad Twitter Accounts: "The Russians Are Active Participants In The Aggression Against Syria"
An August 25 post on the Idlib Online Twitter account, identified with the Syrian regime, stated: "[Our] Russian ally is apparently busy with more important things than stopping the attacks. May Allah protect the Syrian areal defense forces. Period." Another pro-Assad account responded to this post, stating: "The Russians know very well how and when [each] Zionist strike will occur, and they greenlight these strikes, as long as their own bases and troops are safe. The Russians are the ones defending the Zionists from retaliation. They keep the S300 areal defense system from responding to the Zionist strikes. The Russians are active participants in the aggression against Syria and in their Zionist ally's choice of targets."
Syrian Living In Masyaf: Russia's Disregard Of Israel's Airstrikes – A Knife In Syria's Back
Similar criticism was also heard from Muhammad Ibrahim, a Syrian from the town of Masyaf, where a recent attack attributed to Israel reportedly hit a facility for producing and warehousing Iranian missiles. He wrote: "The minute the new day dawned, the scope of the Israeli aggression against Masyaf became apparent, yet no clear condemnation has been heard from [our] 'Russian ally.' The attack included 20 bombs and a guided missile fired from four enemy planes. That ally [of ours, Russia]… must understand that we, the overwhelming majority of the residents of Masyaf and the rural area around it, condemn its vague position on these attacks, [a position] which sows and cultivates seeds of hatred and scorn [towards Russia]. Such positions are not conducive to a long-term presence in Syria of an ally like [Russia], which, everyone thinks, disregards the terrorist role that Israel has been playing since the first day of the Syria war… This constitutes a violation of the agreements [we] signed with the Russians regarding the war on terror, and in fact constitutes a knife in [Syria's] back. For Russia's presence in Syria has given it strength, a foothold [in the region] and an outpost right among its existential enemies, the NATO countries. Hence, we must decry our situation before Allah, who threatened oppressors and traitors that they would lose their power. This behavior will expose Russia to divine wrath that may end its very existence. Time will tell."
 Sana.sy, August 25, 2022. Reports in the Syrian and Arab media indicate that attacks attributed to Israel against Iranian and Hizbullah targets in Syria occur every month, sometimes only a few days apart. For example, on June 6, 2022 there was reportedly an attack on positions and weapon depots belonging to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and to Iran-backed militias near the Damascus international airport and in the south of the city (almodon.com, June 7, 2022). On June 10 there was another attack on depots of the Iran-backed militias near the airport (syriahr.com, June 10, 2022). On July 2 Israel reportedly targeted Hizbullah missile depots in the south of Tartous (Elaph.com, July 3, 2022), and on July 22, 2022 there was an attack in the Damascus area, in which three Syrian soldiers were killed (Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, July 23, 2022). This was followed by an August 14 attack on Hizbullah depots in the south of Tartous and on a weapons shipment intended for the organization (alarabiya.net, August 14, 2022).
 Syriahr.com, August 27, 2022; alarabiya.net, August 26, 2022.
 Times of Israel (Israel), August 26, 2022.
 See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1620 - Assad Regime Supporters Criticize Russia For Failing To Stop Israeli Attacks On Syria: The Syrian People May Act Against The Russians And Expel Them From Country – January 31, 2022.
 Twitter.com/ShehabiFares, August 26, 2022.
 Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006185988829, August 26, 2022.
 Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014942733314, August 25, 2022.
 Twitter.com/idleb_online, August 25, 2022.
 Twitter.com/Alassad2S, August 25, 2022.
 Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002212576993, August 27, 2022.