Israeli warplanes have bombed a Syrian anti-aircraft battery east of Damascus, the Israeli military said. Syrian forces reportedly fired an anti-aircraft missile at the jets while they were on a spy mission overflying Lebanon.
The planes, which the Israeli military said were on a “reconnaissance mission,” were not hit.
“Earlier today, an anti-aircraft missile was launched from Syria towards IDF aircraft during a routine flight over Lebanon. No hits confirmed,” the Israeli Defense Force spokesperson tweeted.
Earlier today,an anti-aircraft missile was launched from Syria towards IDF aircraft during a routine flight over Lebanon. No hits confirmed
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) October 16, 2017
The Israeli military reportedly hit the Syrian battery with four bombs, leaving it no longer operational.
Israel immediately reported the incident to Russia, accusing the government in Damascus of a “clear provocation,” according to Haaretz, citing the military.
“The Syrian regime is responsible for any firing from its territory. We see this incident as a clear provocation and we will not allow it,” Haaretz quoted the army spokesperson as saying.
After notifying Russia as part of the air coordination between the two countries, the Israeli Air Force responded two hours after the Syrian missile was fired, according to Israeli paper Maariv, quoting IDF spokesperson Ronen Manlis.
The Israeli warplanes were on “a routine photographic mission,” he added.
According to the Haaretz report, an “Sa5-type missile” was fired at the Israeli aircraft, which is a NATO reporting name for Soviet-designed S-200 surface-to-air missiles.
The Syrian authorities are yet to comment on the strikes.
Last month, Lebanon filed a complaint to the UN against Israel for “planting spy devices on Lebanese land and continuously breaching”its airspace, contending that the actions “constitute a blatant violation of the Lebanese sovereignty.”
Early September, Israel launched missiles at the Syrian army position in Hama province from Lebanese airspace. The army refused to comment on the incident.
The Israeli military has repeatedly targeted arms convoys within Syria, claiming that they were carrying ammunition to Hezbollah, Israel’s Lebanon-based adversary. The attacks have happened almost 100 times over the past five years, according to the Israeli Air Force commander.