MIDDLE EAST

Syria 'repels' Israeli surveillance aircraft

An observation tower near the Quneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria. (Reuters)

Syria on Wednesday repelled Israeli surveillance planes that breached its southern border, state media reported, days after an Israeli fighter jet was downed during raids on the war-torn country.

"Syrian air defenses have repelled Israeli surveillance planes over Quneitra, forcing them to leave Syrian airspace," the official SANA news agency said.

On Saturday, the Syrian government said it fended off an Israeli raid on a military base in the center of the country, hitting more than one warplane.

That came after the Israeli military said one of its fighter jets had crashed after it came under heavy fire from Syrian air defenses during strikes against "Iranian targets" in the war-hit country.

Israel has carried out dozens of air strikes on the Syrian armed forces and their allies since the civil war broke out in 2011.

Iran with Russia is the main military backer of the Damascus government.

Israel has largely confined its operations to targeting Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group that is a key ally of Iran.

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Last Update: Thursday, 15 February 2018 KSA 00:07 - GMT 21:07
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