Syrian forces fire at Israeli jets

Posted March 19, 2017

Israel has been largely unaffected by the Syrian civil war raging next door, suffering mostly sporadic incidents of spillover fire that Israel has generally dismissed as tactical errors by Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces. Israel's Channel 10 reported that the targets were weapons shipments for Hezbollah, but there was no official confirmation for this.

"Several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria following the mission and (Israeli) aerial defence systems intercepted one of the missiles", it said.

An IDF source told The Jerusalem Post that Israel has no plans to escalate or intensify tension with the Syrian army; however, Israel will continue to operate according it's red lines, working to stop transfer of weapons, mainly accurate long-range missiles being transferred from Iran, through Syria, to Hezbollah.

Today's statement made no mention of retaliatory strikes, and an IDF officer confirmed to Defense News that airstrikes were against "strategic assets of Hezbollah" far north of the Israel-Syria-Jordan border.

The missiles triggered Israel's emergency sirens, which may have forced the army to issue a rare communique confirming the skirmish. "The safety of the forces and Israeli civilians were not compromised".

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His threat came just hours after Damascus said its forces had downed an Israeli jet, which it claimed had attacked a military target near the embattled ancient city of Palmyra.

It isn't the first time that Syria has fired anti-aircraft missiles at Israel, but it was the first time that Israel officially deployed the Arrow system, Haaretz said. Syria has also previously fired anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli fighter planes over its airspace, although none are known to have been hit.

The Israeli military would not comment on the type of system used. The Times reported that the use of the Arrow-3 on a more conventional target could suggest "a misidentification of the type of weapon being fired from Syria". The chaos has allowed al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria and the Islamic State group to expand their reach.

The Syrian army said it had shot down an Israeli jet during the Israeli military operation.