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Syria 'repels' Israeli surveillance aircraft — SANA

By AFP - Feb 15,2018 - Last updated at Feb 15,2018

DAMASCUS — Syria on Wednesday repelled Israeli surveillance planes that breached its southern border, state media reported, days after an Israeli fighter jet was downed during raids on the war-torn country.

"Syrian air defences have repelled Israeli surveillance planes over Quneitra, forcing them to leave Syrian airspace," the official SANA news agency said.

On Saturday, the Syrian government said it fended off an Israeli raid on a military base in the centre of the country, hitting more than one warplane.

That came after the Israeli military said one of its fighter jets had crashed after it came under heavy fire from Syrian air defences during strikes against "Iranian targets" in the war-hit country.

Israel has carried out dozens of air strikes on the Syrian armed forces and their allies since the civil war broke out in 2011. 

Iran with Russia is the main military backer of the Damascus government.

Israel has largely confined its operations to targeting Hizbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group that is a key ally of Iran.

Iran's involvement in Syria, including the deployment of Iran-backed forces near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, has alarmed Israel, which has said it would counter any threat. Israel also has accused Iran of planning to build precision-guided missile factories in Lebanon.

 

The downing of the F-16 over northern Israel — as the air force struck back for what it said was an incursion by an Iranian drone launched from Syria — was a rare setback for a country that relies on regional military supremacy.

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