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Israel threatens to 'destroy' Syrian air-defence system

Israel's anti-missile defence system near Syria [AFP file photo]

Date of publication: 19 March, 2017

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Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday threatened to destroy Syrian air defense systems after they fired ground-to-air missiles at Israeli warplanes carrying out strikes.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday threatened to destroy Syrian air defense systems after they fired ground-to-air missiles at Israeli warplanes carrying out strikes.

"The next time the Syrians use their air defence systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation," Lieberman said on Israeli public radio.

This comes days after Israeli aircraft carried out several strikes on Syria, prompting the launch of ground-to-air missiles in response, one of which was intercepted, the army said on Friday. 

It was the most serious incident between the two countries, which remain technically at war, since civil war broke out in Syria in March 2011.  

Both Israeli and foreign media reported Israeli airstrikes inside Syria targeting arms convoys allegedly headed for Lebanese militant group Hizballah, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel and is now fighting alongside the Damascus regime.

The missile fire prompted air raid sirens to go off in the Jordan Valley during the night, the Israeli army said.

The missile was intercepted north of Jerusalem by Israel's Arrow air defence system, Israeli media reported at the time.

The Syrian army said it had shot down an Israeli jet during the raids. Israel denied this, saying that all its aircraft had returned unscathed.

In 1981 Israel annexed a large part of the Golan Heights which it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War.

The annexation is still not recognised by the international community, which considers the territory Syrian.

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