Israels’ defence minister has threatened to destroy Syria ‘s air defence systems if they are used to target Israeli fighter jets again.
The Israeli military said it shot down one of several anti-aircraft rockets fired at its warplanes by Syria last week in the most serious military exchange between the two hostile neighbours in recent years.
Air force officials said four Israeli jets on a mission to destroy a weapons convoy destined for the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah were attacked by three Syrian surface-to-air missiles, one of which was intercepted by the Israeli Aerial Defence System known as “Arrow.”
“The next time the Syrians use their air defence systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation,” Avigdor Lieberman said in remarks broadcast on Israeli public radio.
Damascus claimed one of the jets was shot down in Israeli-controlled territory and another was hit – a claim the Israeli military denied, saying none of the jets had been hit.
Israel had carried out strikes near Palmyra to help “Isis terrorist gangs and in a desperate attempt to raise their deteriorating morale and divert attention away from the victories which the Syrian Arab Army is making in the face of the terrorist organisations”, a Syrian army statement said.