Israel Struck Syria Three Times Overnight With Jets, Missiles — Assad Regime Military

Jaysh al Islam gather in Tal Farzat in the besieged rebel-held eastern Ghouta area of Damascus Syria

Jaysh al Islam gather in Tal Farzat in the besieged rebel-held eastern Ghouta area of Damascus Thomson Reuters

The Israeli air force carried out strikes on the Qutayfeh area northeast of Damascus, causing the Syrian army to retaliate and "hit one of its planes", the Syrian army said.

The Syrian military reported it shot down one Israeli jet and one missile.

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Israel would not immediately comment on the report, though it has a long record of attacking targets inside Syria, arguing as a pretext they are necessary to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Although the Israeli air force chief last August disclosed that his corps had struck in Syria around 100 times, Israel's policy is generally not to confirm or deny such operations.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking to ambassadors of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries in Israel, said: "We have a long-standing policy to prevent the transfer of game-changing weapons to Hezbollah from Syrian territory". Syria also claimed in the letter that the USA "frees Israel" from all responsibility, allowing the the country to carry out acts of terror against countries in the region and threaten regional and global peace and security.

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"The Syrian army's general headquarters is warning Israel once again against the serious ramifications of such aggressive acts and sees Israel as fully responsible for its moves", the statement said.

"I don't think that has happened very much up till now and that is a source of concern", the diplomat said.

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A European diplomat speaking earlier this week said there was an understanding between the United States and Russian Federation that Hezbollah and other foreign fighters would be removed from the area in Syria close to the Israeli border.

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