Syrian army fires at Israeli warplanes

20 March, 2017, 00:37 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Israel carried out air strikes on Syria prompting the launch of missiles one of which was intercepted north of Jerusalem by Israel's Arrow air defence system

Syria said it shot down an Israeli war plane and struck another Friday after four of the aircraft violated Syrian airspace.

This account was promptly disputed by the Israelis, who claimed that none of their planes were damaged.

"(Our) aircraft was at no point compromised", army spokesman Peter Lerner said.

Nevertheless, analysts said the incident represented a significant shift in Syria's response to Israeli airstrikes inside its territory.

"Several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria following the mission and (army) aerial defence systems intercepted one of the missiles". Late past year, IDF troops operating in the disputed Golan region came under fire from militants of the ISIS affiliate Khalid ibn al-Walid Army, Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said. The advanced program is set to intercept long-range missiles, working in combination with Iron Dome, which is created to protect from short-range threats, and other defense programs.

The Syrian military said the strikes targeted a military site near Palmyra.

Israeli warplanes had attacked several targets in Syria, the IDF said, prompting the Syrian attack.

The reports came days after the most serious incident between the two countries since the Syrian civil war began six years ago, and hours after Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to destroy Syria's air defense systems if Israeli jets were again targeted by regime forces.

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The Arrow 3 interceptor, created to shoot down missiles above the atmosphere, was handed to air force bases in Israel in January after successful testing by Israel and the United States.

In highly unusual comments confirming the operation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "Our policy is very consistent".

Illustrative: Smoke rises following an explosion in Syria's Quneitra province as Syrian rebels clash with Assad regime forces, seen from the Golan Heights in 2014.

Last month, it was reported that Israeli military aircraft conducted an airstrike on the Syrian government forces stationed in the western countryside of Damascus near the Lebanese border.

Israel seized most of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it in 1981, in a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

The Israeli military said its planes were already back in Israeli airspace when the SAMs were fired.

A Jordanian military source said shrapnel from one missile fell in the north of the kingdom without causing any casualties.

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