Israeli war planes attack Hezbollah in Syria

Elias Hubbard
March 31, 2017

Israeli airstrikes on Syrian targets overnight triggered the most visible skirmish between the two neighbors since Syria's civil war began in 2011.

A statement issued by the IDF said only that "several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria" and that its "aerial defense systems intercepted one of the missiles..."

One of the missiles was intercepted by Israel's Arrow missile defense system, marking its first operational use.

In response, Syrian forces fired anti-aircraft missiles at the Israeli jets, saying they downed one aircraft and hit another. Raids against Hezbollah targets in Syria are often attributed to Israel, but Israel rarely takes credit for them.

Hezbollah is fighting alongside President Bashar Assad in the brutal Syrian civil war.

In the summer of 2006, Israel and Hezbollah fought a devastating war that killed almost 1,200 people in Lebanon, majority civilians, and about 160 Israelis, majority troops.

Any attempt by the Zionist enemy to attack a part of the Syrian territory will directly face all possible means, the official note warned.

The Israeli Army confirmed it had conducted airstrikes on several targets in Syria, Israel National News reported. "The safety of Israeli civilians or the Israeli air force aircraft was at no point compromised", army spokesman Peter Lerner told AFP, after the Syrian army said one plane had been shot down and another hit.

Israel's freedom of action over Syria has always been threatened by Russian-supplied anti-aircraft missile systems - including most recently S300 launchers - in the region despite an agreement with Moscow to avoid clashes with Russian aircraft supporting the Assad regime.

"The Syrians must understand that they are held responsible for these arms transfers to Hezbollah and that if they continue to allow them then we will do what we have to do".

Nasrallah also addressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's most recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This would not be the first time the Israeli air force has targeted weapons convoys in Syria headed for Hezbollah - Iran's proxy group in Lebanon.

Israel also occupies two-thirds of the Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria during the 1967 Arab-Israel war.

Early reports assumed the rockets were launched from the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) or Jordan.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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