Israel bombs Syria in 'first strike' since air defences were upgraded

Syria 'Shoots Down' Targets in Suspected Israeli Attack

Syrian air defence down several 'enemy targets' in southern Syria – reports

Citing military sources, Syrian television said its air force had "successfully repelled enemy targets", but did not specifically identify the enemy or the targets.

State media quoted a military source but did not specify what the target was or where it came from.

Abdel Rahman said Thursday was the first time the Assad regime's air defenses had been called into action since the incident on September 17 in which 15 Russians were killed.

The Syrian Defense Ministry stated Thursday that "our air defenses are thwarting hostile targets over the area of Al-Kiswah and are shooting them down".

Two missiles hit "weapons depots belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah [militant group] as well as Iranian forces" in Kisweh.

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But on Friday Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it found the remnants of a Syrian anti-aircraft missile in an open field in the Golan Heights.

It said a Syrian surface-to-air missile was sacked in the direction of an open area of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights but it was unclear if it had hit Israeli-held territory.

The Astana process by Russia, Iran and Turkey to end the Syrian conflict has only led to a "stalemate" in efforts to establish a constitutional committee crucial to a political settlement, the U.S. said on Thursday.

Kisweh, where Thursday's strikes were reported, is situated some 35 kilometers west of Israel's northern border and has been targeted by Israel in the past.

Israel has reportedly carried out airstrikes in Southern Syria targeting Iranian militias, in its first publicised strike since September. Troops are scanning the area.

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Unlike previous occasions, the Syrian authorities did not blame Israel.

Moscow pinned responsibility for the downing on Israel, saying its fighter jet used the larger Russian one for cover, an allegation Israel disputed.

Following the incident, Russian Federation sent advanced air defense missiles to Damascus.

Deemed to be more efficient and advanced than any other interceptor missile system now in Syrian possession, the S-300 can intercept not only planes but also ballistic missiles with ranges of up to 250 kilometers and at a very high altitude. "This is just another piece of evidence that Israel supports terrorist groups and is trying to prolong the conflict in Syria".

The Sept. 17 downing by Syrian anti-aircraft fire, after Israeli jets attacked a suspected Iranian arms shipment to Syria, caused a diplomatic rift between Israel and Russian Federation, and Moscow blamed Israel for the incident.

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