Israel Air Force jets destroy Syrian anti-aircraft battery in retaliatory strike

After being fired on Monday morning by an anti-aircraft missile stationed some 50 kilometers east of Damascus, IAF jets on a routine aerial reconnaissance flight in Lebanese airspace destroyed entire Syrian SA-5 battery in retaliation.

By ANNA AHRONHEIM

The Israeli Air Force attacked and destroyed a Syrian SA-5 anti-aircraft battery east of Damascus Monday morning after it fired a surface-to-air missile at Israeli jets.

The SA-5 missile battery, which was stationed some 50 kilometers east of the Syrian capital, fired at Israeli jets that were on a routine aerial reconnaissance flight in Lebanese airspace, IDF Spokesman Brig.Gen. Ronen Manelis stated.

“We see the Syrian regime as responsible and see these missiles as a clear Syrian provocation, and it will not be accepted,” Manelis stated, adding that while Israel has no intention to enter into the civil war in Syria, Israel will react to all provocations.

Manelis told journalists that Russia was updated about the incident, in which no Israeli jets were harmed, in real time, and that it will be brought up during the visit of the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu who is set to land in Israel in the coming hours.

Moscow intervened in the Syrian conflict in September 2015, and officials from Israel and Russia meet regularly to discuss the deconfliction mechanism system implemented over Syria to prevent accidental clashes between the two militaries.

Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman – Knesset TV screenshot

Shoigu will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and other senior officials to discuss the Jewish State’s ongoing concerns regarding Iran’s entrenchment in Syria and the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah by Tehran through Damascus.

Israel rarely comments on foreign reports of military activity in Syria but has publicly admitted to having struck over 500 Hezbollah targets in Syria, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that strikes will continue when “we have information and operational feasibility.”

During an IAF operation in March to strike a Hezbollah arms convoy in Syria, regime air defense fired three surface-to-air missiles towards IAF jets. It was the most serious incident between the two countries since the war in Syria began six years ago.

Following that incident, Liberman warned against any further launching of missiles by the Syrian regime, threatening to destroy all Syrian air defenses.

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