Israel F-15 fighter jets have managed to escape salvo of ground-to-air missiles from Pro-Assad forces Friday morning after having struck several targets inside Syria.
"Israel has shot down one of numerous anti-aircraft missiles launched Thursday night by Syria at Israeli F-15 fighter jets that had hit designated targets within Syria," Israel Defense Forces was quoted as saying by ynetnews.com.
The incident is the most significant military squabble between the Syria and Israel since the Syrian civil war started in March 2011.
The exchange of fire took place in the middle of the night with air raid sirens in the Israeli-occupied Jordan valley and reports of an explosion, which was later clarified as one of the missiles being brought down by Israeli air defences.
Overnight, March 17, IAF aircrafts [sic] targeted many targets in Syria. Several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria following the mission and the Israeli aerial defence systems intercepted one of the missiles. “None of the aircraft was hit, but one of the missiles was intercepted north of Jerusalem by an Israeli missile defence system.” Israel officials were quoted as saying.
After Arrow missile system was delivered to the Israel Air Force in 2000, Israel became the first country with the ability to protect itself against ballistic missile threats.
Although Israel has operated with relative immunity in Syria, Russian-supplied anti-aircraft missile systems – including most recently S300 launchers have threatened to complicate Israel’s freedom of action.
Lebanese media and websites affiliated with Hezbollah, said the strike had killed Badie Hamya, a veteran of the Shia militant group, who was described as a “mujahedin leader”.
The Syrian Army responded to the strike, “This blatant Israeli act of aggression came as part of the Zionist enemy’s persistence with supporting ISIS terrorist gangs and in a desperate attempt to raise their deteriorating morale and divert attention away from the victories which Syrian Arab Army is making in the face of the terrorist organizations.”