Syrians Report Israeli Drone Strike Kills Commander of pro-Assad Militia

20 March, 2017, 00:48 | Author: Essie Rivera

Netanyahu said Israel will continue to stop weapons shipments to Hezbollah despite objections from Syria and the summoning of Israel's Ambassador to Russian Federation.

It isn't the first time that Syria has fired anti-aircraft missiles at Israel, but it was the first time that Israel officially deployed the Arrow system, Haaretz said.

"The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation", Liberman said on Israel Radio. In retaliation the jets were targeted by Syrian anti-aircraft missiles with one of the Israeli fight planes shot down.

"When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah and we have intelligence and it is operationally feasible, we act to prevent it", according to the Times of Israel.

In a rare statement, the Israel Defence Forces confirmed to having carried out aerial strikes in Syria and intercepted missiles launched at its aircraft from the ground.

Israel has been largely unaffected by the Syrian civil war raging next door, suffering only sporadic incidents of spillover fire that Israel has generally dismissed as tactical errors by the Syrian army.

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"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".

The exchange indicates that tensions may be escalating between the two countries as Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad tighten their grip after years of civil war. Israeli officials repeatedly have vowed to take any necessary action to prevent weapons shipments from Iran to Hezbollah via Syrian territory. The United States, Israel, and the Arab League consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization while the European Union classifies Hezbollah's military wing as a terrorist group.

The Israeli military denied Syria's claims and said that its forces intercepted an anti-aircraft missile, without elaborating, according to the Associated Press. In 2014, the Syrian government and an opposition group both said an IDF strike had hit Damascus' suburbs and airport.

The Palestinian daily al Quds earlier on Sunday cited Syrian sources who said the Syrian army had targeted an Israeli drone in Quneitra, causing the drone to retreat.

Israeli strikes have also gone after ISIS fighters inside Syria.

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