19:40 GMT +323 November 2017
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    An Israeli air force jet fighter plane. (File)

    Israel Destroys Syrian Air Defence Battery After Alleged 'Shelling'

    © AP Photo/ Ariel Schalit
    Middle East
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    The IDF has cited its right to "thwart hostilities towards Israeli population". The incident comes as the latest in a string of tit-for-tat attacks between Damascus and Tel Aviv that remain in a state of war for decades.

    The Israeli Air Force has announced that its military jets destroyed an anti-aircraft battery east of the Syrian capital of Damascus on October 16. The incident has not yet been confirmed by the Syrian government.

    According to the IDF, the "retaliatory" move came after Israeli jets had been targeted with an anti-aircraft missile launched from the Syrian territory. The military's spokesperson has said that no hits had been confirmed. The jets were carrying out a routine reconnaissance mission over Lebanon.

    While the IDF has blamed the Syrian government for the incident, it has yet again stated it "maintains its ability to thwart hostilities against Israeli civilians."

    According to one of the heads of the Israeli military’s press service, Tel Aviv has also notified Russia that has a military presence Syria of the airstrike in real time.

    "The Russians were notified in real time, or maybe just before [the attack]," the military official said.

    However, the IDF said that it "has no intention to destabilize the situation."

    In September Israeli jets attacked the Syrian army in the Hama province, however the IDF refused to comment on the incident. Israel and Syria have exchanged numerous tit-for-tat attacks over the disputed area of Golan Hights, seized by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967.

    The move has been repeatedly condemned by the international community. According to the UN resolution adopted in 1981, the Golan Heights were declared as illegally occupied by Israel. In 2008, the United Nations reiterated its calls for Tel Aviv to return the 'annexed territory' — something that, according to the incumbent PM Benyamin Netanyahu, "Israel will never do".

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