Syrian army fires at Israeli warplanes

Mar 20, 2017, 00:24

Earlier, a spokesperson of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that Israeli military jets were targeted by anti-aircraft missiles after they struck several targets in Syria.

In a rare statement, the Israel Defence Forces confirmed to having carried out aerial strikes in Syria and intercepted missiles launched at its aircraft from the ground.

Is this response from Syria justified, or did Israel have good reason for the airstrikes in the first place?

It's a signal perhaps to all concerned that if weapons supplies to Hezbollah continue, then Israel is ready to escalate its air campaign.

It is rare for Israel to admit to air strikes in Syria though there have been reports of at least four similar raids against Hezbollah weapons shipments since the start of December of previous year.

Iranian-backed Hezbollah has been fighting inside Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad against the rebels. Late previous 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.

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An Israeli air force jet fighter plane takes off from Tel Nof Air Force base in central Israel, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012.

"When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah and we have intelligence and it is operationally possible, we will act to stop it", said Netanyahu.

The reported strike came hours after Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman threatened to destroy Syrian air defense systems, after Israeli aircraft were targeted during a bombing run early Friday morning.

Israeli media said one missile was intercepted by the Arrow system north of Jerusalem.

What is known of this unusual story is this: Israel's Super Green Pine radar - part of the joint U.S. -Israel Arrow weapon system - detected a threat and launched an Arrow 2 interceptor against its first operational target.

Israel and Syria are still technically at war, though the border had remained largely quiet for decades until 2011 when the Syrian conflict began. It would not say whether any other missiles struck Israeli-held territory, but said the safety of Israeli civilians and Israeli aircraft was "not compromised".