Netanyahu: Syria raids targeted Hezbollah arms

Tensions rise as Syria retaliates against Israeli airstrikes

Syria shoots down Israeli warplane

The firing of missiles from Syria toward Israeli aircraft is rare, though Israeli military officials reported a shoulder-fired missile attack a few months ago.

Israeli Channel 10 TV reported that Israel deployed its Arrow defence system for the first time against a real threat and hit an incoming missile, intercepting it before it exploded in Israel.

The IDF, in turn, said on Friday that it used the advanced Arrow missile defense system to shoot down a Syrian anti-aircraft missile that was sacked at an Israeli jet. The group is sworn to Israel's destruction, and fired thousands of rockets into Israel during a monthlong war in 2006.

Four Israeli warplanes infiltrated the Syrian airspace at 2:40 am Friday, over the Braij area and targeted one of the military positions near the city of Palmyra in the eastern countryside of Homs, said the military statement.

"Every time we identify a transfer like this, we will work to prevent the transfer of game-changing weapons. There will be no compromise on this issue", he added.

Liberman has not shied away from threatening rhetoric since taking over the Defense Ministry past year.

Israeli strikes may have gone as far inside Syria as the capital.

On Friday, just one day after the Israeli Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren presented his credentials to President Putin, he was summoned for clarifications over the strikes.

The two countries established coordination past year to avoid conflicts in Syrian airspace, ostensibly to allow both countries to operate freely.

The Israeli military, however, later denied the Syrian claims, asserting that all of its fighters had "safely returned to their bases".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also defended the attacks.

The IDF later confirmed that the sirens were a result of Israeli airstrikes on several targets in Syria, Israel National News reports.

Netanyahu stated: "Our policy is very consistent".

It's a signal perhaps to all concerned that if weapons supplies to Hezbollah continue, then Israel is ready to escalate its air campaign.

A source in the Israeli defense establishment told CNN's Sara Sidner at the time: "We will do whatever is necessary to stop the transfer of weapons from Syria to terrorist organizations". We are fully determined and the evidence of that it that we are acting. "That's what we've done previously and this is what we will do, and everyone should take that into account".

Hezbollah is a Lebanese militant group and political party, funded and supplied by Iran. Perhaps their point was to warn Israel against future incursions into its territory.

An Israeli drone on Sunday reportedly struck a vehicle on a road in Syria between the suburbs of Quneitra near the Israeli border and Damascus, killing the driver, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Overnight, March 17, IAF aircrafts [sic] targeted many targets in Syria.

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