(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
BEIRUT - Syria's army high command said in a statement on Friday that Israeli jets breached Syrian air space early in the morning and attacked a military target near Palmyra in what it described as an act of aggression that aided Islamic State.
It said its air defenses shot down one of the Israeli jets over what it called "occupied ground" and damaged another.
In a rare confirmation of Israel carrying out airstrikes in Syria, the IDF said on Friday morning that “several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria during the operation. One of the missiles was intercepted by the air defense systems of the IDF.” It marked the first time that Israel used its Arrow-3 missile defense system.
As a result of these activities, a rocket alert siren was heard in the Aravot HaYarden Regional Council in Israel's Jordan Valley, the army statement added.
The border with Syria has been tense since Syria's civil war erupted in 2011, and while Israel is suspected of carrying out strikes against Hezbollah weapons convoys in Syrian territory, it rarely publicly admits to them.
Palestinian militants in Gaza have often fired short-range rockets over the border with Israel and, in the 2014 Gaza war, had fired longer-range rockets that landed deep inside Israel and in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Militants affiliated with the Islamic State group in the Egyptian Sinai peninsula have also fired rockets into Israel on occasion.