Netanyahu warns Syria Israel prepared to strike 'as needed'

Laura Christensen
October 17, 2017

Earlier, the SA-5 anti-aircraft battery, located about 30 miles east of Damascus fired at Israeli planes conducting "routine" reconnaissance over Lebanon.

Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said none of the aircraft were hit and all returned to their bases safely.

First the SA-5 battery fired a missile at Israeli planes over Lebanon, The Times of Israel reported.

Nevertheless, the decision was made to respond to the launching of missiles against Israeli Air Force planes, because it is not an option to allow anyone to force Israel to restrict its air or ground operations with impunity.

The attack took place several hours before Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu is scheduled to arrive in Israel for talks with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, who will continue to update him on the incident.

Conricus said the reconnaissance planes were not struck by the interceptor missile, but the Syrian military claimed one Israeli plane was "directly hit" and "forced to flee".

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Russian Federation backs the Assad regime and Israel and Moscow have established a hotline to avoid accidents over Syrian airspace.

The added: "The Syrian regime is responsible for any firing from its territory".

On the other side, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah back Assad forces.

Israel, Syria's archenemy, has played positive role in supporting the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front in the areas between Qunaitera and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to keep a sort of a buffer zone and a barrier to keep the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group at bay.

Conricus acknowledged the sensitivity of the timing of the incident and the potential for it to cause tension during Shoigu's visit, but said the military was "confident it won't influence anything else".

Israel has largely stayed out of the fighting in Syria, but has occasionally carried out strikes on Syrian military positions.

Other reports by My Hot News

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