This would not be the first time that Syria fired S-200 missiles at Israeli jets. A similar incident occurred in September of last year:
The reason Syria feels it can engage Israel is very clear. One word—Russia. Syrian leadership believes that Russia will protect them from Israel.
Until now Israel had a carte blanche to fly over Syrian airspace. They did as they wished, and there was no significant response. Israel had a relatively free hand. That ended on Tuesday when Syrian President Bashar Assad began implementing his decision to change the entire status quo and push Israel out of Syrian airspace and off the offensive.
Shooting the S-200s was part of this plan. This weapon was delivered to Assad’s father by the Russians in the late 1960s and was almost never used. The S-200 has a range of almost 200 miles (300km). A range that puts almost all of Israel’s major population centers at risk as well as all commercial aircraft coming in and out of Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.
Time to upgrade. S-200 > S-400.