The Israeli air force has once again launched a series of attacks on Syrian government-supporting anti-ISIS forces outside Damascus, and has threatened to “destroy Syrian air defense systems” if they dare to shoot at the Jewish ethnostate’s attacking jets.
Earlier, the Syrian government announced that it had shot down an Israeli jet targeting anti-ISIS forces in the eastern countryside of Homs.
The official Syrian communique, announced on the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) service, said that four Israeli aircraft “violated the Syrian airspace in al-Breij area through the Lebanese territories at 2:40 a.m.” on March 17.
“The Israeli warplanes targeted a military site near Palmyra in the eastern countryside of Homs,” the Syrian statement continued, adding that the “Syria air defense forces confronted the enemy’s aircraft and shot down one of them inside the occupied territories, hit another and forced the other two to withdraw.”
“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 the Syrian Arab Army is making in the face of the terrorist organizations,” the Syrian statement said.
The statement concluded with an expression of the “Army Command’s resolve to repel any attempt by the Zionist enemy to attack any part of the Syrian territory, affirming that any such attempt will be directly confronted with all possible means.”
In an official statement, the Israeli army confirmed that missiles had been fired against its aircraft, but denied any of its jets had been shot down.
However, the Israeli army is on record as covering up its losses, and the hysterical reaction of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman indicates that there may be truth to the Syrian claims.
Speaking on Israeli public radio, Lieberman said that the “next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation.”
The Jewish army claims that it is attacking “terrorists heading for Lebanon,” but in fact the target of its attacks are usually Hezbollah troops fighting ISIS alongside the Syrian government, or Syrian army supply depots.
The Israeli air force has carried out numerous attacks on the Syrian government since the outbreak of the U.S. and U.K.-backed terrorist “rebellion” in Syria, all in an effort to weaken the Bashar al-Assad government.
The latest incident is however the first time that the Syrian army has responded, as the military situation against the internal terrorists has always militated against opening a second front against external terrorism from the Jewish state.
With ISIS and the U.S./U.K. terrorists on the retreat, the Syrian government obviously feels strong enough now to challenge the constant Jewish attacks.
Israel seized most of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it in 1981, in a move never recognized by the international community.
Israel and Syria are still technically at war, though the border had remained largely quiet until 2011, when the Israeli air force started attacking the Syrian army in the back while it was fighting ISIS.