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Israeli planes strike missile battery in Syria

Two countries exchange fire in rare direct confrontation on Monday morning

    Israeli jets struck a missile battery near Damascus in October after it fired a missiles towards its planes (file photo)
    Israeli jets struck a missile battery near Damascus in October after it fired a missiles towards its planes (file photo) AP

    Israel and Syria exchanged direct fire between one another on Monday morning in a rare direct clash between the two countries.

    The Israel Defence Forces said a Syrian missile was launched towards its aircraft flying over Lebanon and that it carried out an airstrike in response.

    According to the IDF spokesperson unit, the Israeli aircraft were fired at by the SA-5 missile battery while carrying out “a routine reconnaissance mission” over Lebanon.

    Despite not being threatened by the missile, the Israeli Air Force in retaliation bombed the battery fifty kilometres east of the Syrian capital Damascus, destroying its fire-control radar.

    Israel also said it notified the Russia of the strike in advance using a special “deconfliction hotline” that connects the two countries’ military headquarters.

    Israeli sources said that following its airstrike “the event is closed” and it has no interest in destabilising the region.

    But the strike came just hours before Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu was due to land in Tel Aviv on an official visit, as Israel tries to prevent Iran from establishing permanent air and sea bases in Syria

    Mr Shoygu will reportedly receive a full briefing of the morning’s events, but the main issue on the agenda is Israel’s demand that Russia prevent Iran’s entrenchment in Syria.

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