Israel targets Syrian anti-aircraft battery in retaliation

This resulted in an IAF retaliation, firing at the anti-aircraft battery, located 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Damascus.

In a conference call with The Israel Project, which publishes The Tower, Ephraim Segoli, a retired IAF general, now with the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, said that the unsuccessful Syrian attack against the Israeli planes was something "unique" that Israel might have to address. "No hits confirmed", IDF said in a statement on Twitter. No Israeli aircraft were hit by the anti-aircraft fire.

Following the Israeli Air Force (IAF) airstrike deep inside Syrian territory, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded this evening (Monday) to the event in an official statement emphasizing that "our policy is very clear: Anyone who attempts to hurt us, we hurt them". Syrian anti-aircraft missiles were launched at Israeli warplanes over Syria in March.

"We know according to our intelligence it was a battery controlled by the Syrian regime and we hold the Syrian regime responsible for the fire", Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus said. In a departure from its usual practice of allowing such flights to pass without response, this time the Syrians shot at least one missile at the planes.

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Israel has largely stayed out of the fighting in Syria but it has carried out dozens of airstrikes on alleged arms shipments bound for Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu was due to begin a visit to Israel later today.

Conricus said the incident was the first time Israeli aircraft had been targeted over Lebanese airspace since 2011. Russia intervened militarily in the Syrian conflict in September 2015, prompting Netanyahu to cozy up to Moscow, making four trips over the last eighteen months to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin-an effort many suggest has been less than successful.