Israel warns Syria after exchange of fire


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. The only Israeli operations in Syria that are publicly acknowledged and announced by the IDF pertain to aircraft, tank and artillery strikes in response to fire from Syrian territory quite close to Israel's border.

The Israeli military said its warplanes struck several targets in Syria overnight and had returned to Israeli-controlled airspace when several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria toward the planes, the AP said.

As to the Russian presence in Syria, Liberman said the last thing Israel wants is tension with Russia, but Israel values its own security above anything else.

The incident is the most significant military squabble between the Syria and Israel since the Syrian civil war started in March 2011.

An Israeli military spokesman denied a jet had been shot down, adding: "At no point was the safety of Israeli civilians or the IAF (Israeli Air Force) aircraft compromised".

Israeli jets have been striking targets in Syria since at least 2013, when U.S. officials told CNN they believed IDF jets had hit targets inside Syrian territory. "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. The Arrow is created to knock down incoming ballistic missiles and was developed with financial and technical assistance from the United States. The Iran-backed group is sworn to Israel's destruction and fought a month-long war with the Jewish state in 2006.

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The intercept triggered alarm sirens in the Jordan Valley and shrapnel from the explosion, which was heard as far south as Jerusalem, landed in western Jordan, the Jordanian military said.

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 global community.

Netanyahu stated: "Our policy is very consistent".

In April 2016, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted for the first time that Israel had attacked dozens of convoys transporting weapons in Syria destined for Hezbollah.

"Syria made a dramatic shift today as it managed to discover the movements of the Israeli warplanes", Amir said, pointing out that Damascus has broken the equation with the Zionist entity.