Israel warns Syria after exchange of fire

An Israeli F-15 fighter flies over a military base near Mitzpe Ramon. File pic

Israel's Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has warned Syria not to repeat attempts to shoot down Israeli bombers after anti-aircraft missiles were fired at Israeli planes near Palmyra on Friday (17 March).

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

In April 2016, Netanyahu admitted for the first time that Israel had attacked dozens of convoys transporting weapons in Syria destined for Hezbollah, which fought a 2006 war with Israel and is now battling alongside the Damascus regime.

Netanyahu said Israel will continue to stop weapons shipments to Hezbollah despite objections from Syria and the summoning of Israel's Ambassador to Russian Federation.

In December, Liberman told a delegation of European Union envoys that Israel will "prevent the smuggling of sophisticated weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction from Syria to Hezbollah".

According to a report on the Arab news website Rai al-Youm, political groups and reliable Jordanian sources believe that there is a connection between recent Israeli military and intelligence operations along Israel's borders with Syria and Lebanon and between leaked information claiming that Hezbollah has obtained extremely technologically advanced missiles from North Korea.

"That's how it was yesterday and that's how we shall continue to act", he added.


"We are a sovereign country that acts to protect our security interests". Israeli officials repeatedly have vowed to take any necessary action to prevent weapons shipments from Iran to Hezbollah via Syrian territory.

The Israeli Army confirmed it had conducted airstrikes on several targets in Syria, Israel National News reported.

The skies over Syria are now crowded, with Russian and Syrian aircraft backing the regime's forces and a US-led coalition striking Isis and al-Qaida targets. That conflict included rocket strikes inside Israel and an Israeli air and ground offensive in Lebanon.

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. It also serves Iranian military movements in Syria.

The group published four pictures it said were from the scene of the alleged airstrike.

In a rare confirmation, the Israeli army said in a statement that "a number" of its warplanes had struck positions inside Syrian territory.

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