Syria says it hit Israeli jet during airstrikes targeting base in Homs

Elias Hubbard
July 9, 2018

Russian Federation and Iran have provided crucial military support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, helping them turn the tide in the seven-year civil war. Israel's air force has struck scores of targets it described as Iranian deployments or arms transfers to Iran-backed Hezbollah.

An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment on the latest incident.

"Our air defences are responding to an Israeli aggression and intercepting a number of missiles targeting the airport, hitting one of the attacking planes and forcing the rest to leave the airspace", the official SANA news agency quoted a military source as saying.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the attack targeted "Iranian forces and pro-Assad militias" and that "there are likely fatalities".

Syrian state outlets published a video of a flash in the dark sky, claiming it showed the air defences responding to the bombardment.

Tensions have risen dramatically between the two arch-enemies in recent months and following the strike, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that the time when Iran's enemies could "hit and run" was over.

An army officer in the southern Syrian desert said the defense system brought down missiles coming from south of the Tanf region towards the Homs air base.

Moscow, Tehran and Damascus accused Israel of carrying out those raids.

In the past, any successful air defense use against Israeli attacks was met by more intense Israeli strikes, and officials warning that Syria ought not resist future salvos. The Syrian government has repeatedly condemned the Israeli aggression and warned about its unsafe repercussions. It was not the first one targeted as in February an Israeli F-16 crashed in northern Israel after being hit by Syrian air defences.

Israel took control of the 1,200 square kilometers of the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967 and unilaterally annexed the area in 1981. "Second, we will demand that Syria, and the Syrian military, strictly uphold the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement", Netanyahu said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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