Israel denies Syrians shot down military jet

The Syrian army chief of staff said they downed an Israeli military jet today and hit another one over the Bureij region near the border with Lebanon.

"The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our airplanes, we will destroy all of them without thinking twice", Avigdor Liberman said Sunday on Israeli public radio.

This account was promptly disputed by the Israelis, who claimed that none of their planes were damaged.

Israeli aerial defence systems intercepted one of the missiles but the army would not say if any other missiles struck Israeli-held territory, but confirmed the safety of Israeli civilians and Israeli aircraft was "not compromised".

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When Russia redeployed to Syria in 2015, taking advantage of the Obama administration's tepid response to the fighting there, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a quick trip to Moscow to talk with President Putin.

Israel has said it won't allow advanced weapons to reach Hezbollah.

According to the Israeli army, the aircraft had already returned to Israeli airspace when Syrian launched its air-defense rockets. The advanced program is set to intercept long-range missiles, working in combination with Iron Dome, which is created to protect from short-range threats, and other defense programs. "When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah and we have intelligence and it is operationally feasible, we act to prevent it", he said.

Recent, in mid-January, Israeli forces hit the Mezzeh Military Airport west of Damascus, with the facility rocked by several explosions according to RT.

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Israeli warplanes had attacked several targets in Syria, the IDF said, prompting the Syrian attack.

Syria responded by firing several missiles at the aircraft - one of which was intercepted by Israel's air defense systems.

A surface-to-air missile (SAM) was intercepted using the Arrow system, created to stop long-range ballistic missiles, reports say.

In the summer of 2006, Israel and Hezbollah fought a devastating war in Lebanon that killed almost 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and about 160 Israelis, mostly troops.

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The statement was a rare confirmation of Israel's airstrikes in Syria, where Israel bombs weapons shipments to Hezbollah, a Lebanese group linked to Iran that fights alongside the Syrian army. None of the missiles struck the jets, but one was intercepted by a missile defense system north of Jerusalem, Haaretz reports, adding there were no Israeli casualties in the incident.