Israel threatens Syria after missiles fired at jets

Miranda GreerMar 20, 2017

It was at least the second time in the space of six months that Syria fired surface-to-air missiles at Israeli aircraft and claimed to have downed them, the Times of Israel said. Moreover, the Syrian army has repeatedly seized huge quantities of Israeli-made weapons and advanced military equipment from the foreign-backed militants inside Syria.

The Syrian army high command said the jet was struck by an anti-aircraft missile after it had flown back into Israeli-controlled territory and was one of four planes which "penetrated our air space at 2.40am (12.30 GMT) via Lebanese territory".

In 2015, a reported Israeli airstrike near Quneitra killed Hezbollah commander Jihad Mughniyeh, amid claims that he had been setting up a base from which to shoot rockets at Israel.

In the summer of 2006, Israel and Hezbollah fought a devastating war in Lebanon that killed almost 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and about 160 Israelis, mostly troops.

The missiles triggered Israel's emergency sirens, which may have forced the army to issue a rare communique confirming the skirmish.

"At no point was the safety of Israeli civilians or the IAF (Israeli Air Force) aircraft compromised", an Israeli military spokesman said. "Several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria following the mission and IDF (Israel Defence Force) Aerial Defence Systems intercepted one of the missiles", the military said in its statement, as cited by Reuters.

A surface-to-air missile (SAM) was intercepted using the Arrow system, created to stop long-range ballistic missiles, reports say.

Speaking on Israel public radio Sunday morning, Liberman said, "The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our airplanes, we will destroy all of them without thinking twice".

Israeli "aircrafts targeted several targets in Syria".

"Each time we discover arms transfers from Syria to Lebanon we will act to stop them".

There has been sporadic cross-border fire between the two countries since the start of the Syrian war in 2011.

As well as hitting Hezbollah, Israel has also consistently targeted Syrian positions on the Golan Heights in response to alleged projectiles fired across the demarcation line between the countries. At that time, Israeli officials would not say when the missile would become operational.

It also supports the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad, committing thousands of fighters to battle alongside Assad's forces.

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

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