Why did Israel decide to bomb the Syrian anti-aircraft battery responsible for the launch, even at the price of increased tension along the already sensitive northern border, when in the past, it has responded far more tepidly, and sometimes even purely defensively, such as by firing off an Arrow missile costing millions of shekels?
Syria descended into war in 2011, when President Assad deployed government troops to quash anti-government demonstrations in several areas of the country.
According SANA, the Syrian air defense "directly hit one of the jets, forcing the enemy to retreat", contradicting Israeli military claims that all planes had returned safely from the operation.
A few hours following the IAF airstrike deep inside Syrian territory, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responds.
The Syrian military said the Israeli strike caused "material damage" to the battery, but did not report any casualties.
He noted that it was Shoigu's first visit to Israel as Russia's defense minister.
The SA5 surface-to-air missile was launched at the Israeli military fighters from an anti-aircraft battery but missed its target.
Lieutenant-Colonel Conricus said a Syrian attack on Israeli air force planes over Lebanon was unprecedented.
According to Israel's military, it struck the Syrian anti-aircraft battery after an Israeli aircraft was targeted over Lebanon. Israel and Russian Federation coordinate their military over Syria for deconfliction. The Syrian army has commented on the incident.
Conricus acknowledged the sensitivity of the timing of the incident and the potential for it to cause tension during Shoigu's visit, but said the military was "confident it won't influence anything else". It has also occasionally carried out limited reprisals along its frontier with Syria in the Golan Heights, after spillover of Syria's fighting.
A US-led coalition backs some of the militia groups that want to overthrow Assad, including SDF and Free Syrian Army. Russian Federation is also backing Assad in the Syrian conflict.