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Syria Following Israeli Attack: IDF Jets Had Violated Our Airspace

© AP Photo / Ariel SchalitIsraeli Air Force F-15 jet. (File)
Israeli Air Force F-15 jet. (File) - Sputnik International
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The Israeli army reported that its Air Force has destroyed an anti-aircraft battery in Syria in a response to an alleged shelling of Israeli planes that were conducting a reconnaissance mission in Lebanese airspace. The Syrian army has commented on the incident.

According to a statement from Damascus "the aircraft of Israel's Air Force violated [Syria's] airspace near the border with Lebanon in the Baalbek area at 08:51 a.m. local time (05:51 GMT)" and therefore were attacked by the syrian air defense systems. The statement also claimed that "one of the planes was hit, which forced the aircraft to leave".

The comment from Syria's armed forces comes hours after the IDF had announced that its jets had been targeted by an anti-aircraft missile during what it called "a routine flight over Lebanon." According to the IDF, the planes were not harmed in the shelling. Israel also stated having hit a Syrian air-defence battery 50 kilometres away from Damascus with 4 bombs, rendering it non-operational.

An Israeli air force jet fighter plane. (File) - Sputnik International
Israel Destroys Syrian Air Defence Battery After Alleged 'Shelling'
Tel Aviv had qualified the incident as a "clear provocation", it also had confirmed that the Russian military had been notified of IDF's action beforehand — as part of the coordination with Moscow.

It is believed to be the first time since Syria's civil war began in 2011 that Israeli planes were targeted while in Lebanese airspace, according to the Israeli military spokesman, Jonathan Conricus. Later in the day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has commented in the situation, "We will continue to act in the region when it is required to ensure Israel's security. Our policy is clear: Those who wish to attack us will be attacked by us."

Israel and Syria that have been formally in the state of war since the establishment of Israel in 1948 have exchanged numerous tit-for-tat attacks over cross-bording shelling. The latest incident took place in September when Israeli jets attacked the Syrian government forces in the Hama province, however, the IDF refused to comment on the incident.

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