Israel strikes Hezbollah in Syria, intercepts ground-to-air missile

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Israeli fighter jets launched three raids targeting Lebanese militia Hezbollah in Syria overnight, Al Arabiya’s correspondent reported.

The aircraft also carried out several other strikes, prompting the launch of ground-to-air missiles in response, one of which was intercepted, the army said on Friday.

“Overnight... aircraft targeted several targets in Syria,” an Israeli army statement said. “Several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria following the mission and (army) aerial defense systems intercepted one of the missiles.”

The Associated Press had earlier reported that anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria into Israeli-controlled territory early Friday following a series of Israeli airstrikes in Syria, the Israeli military said.

The military said its warplanes struck several targets in Syria and were back in Israeli-controlled airspace when several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria toward the Israeli jets.

Israeli aerial defense systems intercepted one of the missiles, the army said. It would not say whether any other missiles struck Israeli-held territory, but it said the safety of Israeli civilians and the safety of the Israeli aircraft “were not compromised.”

The army said the incident was the cause of sirens that wailed in Jewish settlement communities in the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank. The military would not immediately comment on media reports that explosions were heard in the area.

Israel is widely believed to have carried out a number of airstrikes on advanced weapons systems in Syria - including Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles and Iranian-made missiles, as well as Hezbollah positions - but it rarely confirms them. The firing of missiles from Syria toward Israeli aircraft is rare.

(With AP, AFP)

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