Syrian missile fired at Israeli jets is intercepted

Posted March 20, 2017

Most of Israel's reported strikes have been around the Syrian capital of Damascus, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967. There were conflicting reports about the identity of the man killed, with some labeling him a "terrorist" and others describing him as a civilian.

The exchange indicates that tensions may be escalating between the two countries as Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad tighten their grip after years of civil war.

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.

"The next time the Syrians use their air defence systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation", Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman said in remarks broadcast on Israeli public radio.

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Israeli Ambassador Cary Koren was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry Friday for clarifications on Israel's air strikes over Syria that night.

It did not provide additional details except to say that "several anti-aircraft missiles" had been fired from Syria during the operation, one of which was intercepted by Israeli air defenses.

Following the breach of the country's airspace, the Syrian Army warned Israel of "direct" retaliation "with all means at its disposal", Haaretz reports. That is why every time we identify an attempt to smuggle game-changing weapons, we will act to thwart it. Air force officials said the jets were attacked three Syrian surface-to-air missiles, one of which was intercepted by the Israeli Aerial Defence System known as "Arrow".

Israel is officially neutral in Syria's civil war but has unilaterally reserved right to intervene to prevent potential shipments of advanced weaponry to the Hezbollah group based in Lebanon. Recent, in mid-January, Israeli forces hit the Mezzeh Military Airport west of Damascus, with the facility rocked by several explosions according to RT. Israel views the organization as enemy militants. Israeli leaders have stated that since then, Hezbollah has built up and improved its range of rocket arsenal that can now strike deep inside Israel. "That's how it was yesterday and that's how we shall continue to act".

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