Israel threatens to 'destroy' Syrian air defence systems

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JERUSALEM: Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday threatened to destroy Syrian air defence systems after they fired ground-to-air missiles at Israeli warplanes carrying out strikes.

"The next time the Syrians use their air defence systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation," Lieberman said on Israeli public radio.

Israeli warplanes hit several targets in Syria on Friday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying the strikes targeted weapons bound for Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement.

Syria's military said it had downed one of the Israeli planes and hit another as they were carrying out the pre-dawn strikes near the famed desert city of Palmyra that it recaptured from jihadists this month.

The Israeli military denied that any planes had been hit. The Syrian government has made similar claims in the past.

An Israeli army statement said "several anti-aircraft missiles" were fired following the raid but that none hit their targets.

One missile was intercepted by Israel's Arrow air defence system, Israeli media reported.
It was the most serious incident between the two countries since the Syrian civil war began six years ago.

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