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March 21, 2017 10:03 am

Report: Israel Launches More Strikes in Syria, IDF Drone Downed

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An Israeli Air Force jet. Photo: Maj. Ofer/Israeli Air Force. – Israeli jets struck targets in Syria twice within 24 hours and three times in as many days, according to unconfirmed reports Tuesday.

Syrian media claim Israeli targets in the latest alleged strikes included a Hezbollah weapons convoy and Syrian military targets near the Lebanon-Syria border.

The Israeli military has confirmed that one of its Skylark drones had been downed over Quneitra, in the Syrian part of the Golan Heights.

News of the suspected Israeli strikes and downing of an Israeli military drone came as tensions between Syria and Israel escalated following an Israeli drone strike Sunday, which reportedly killed a militia commander of a group supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian military responded to the incident by firing on Israeli Air Force planes.

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Last week, Israel’s Arrow long-range missile defense system intercepted a Syrian missile, marking that system’s first operational use in its 17 years of existence.

“The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes, we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said following the Arrow interception.

Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari called last week’s incident a “game-changer” and said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has informed Israel that it no longer has the freedom to act in Syrian skies. The Arrow system, however, had reportedly intercepted the missile in Israeli airspace.

Al-Jaafari’s comments came after last week’s meeting between Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow, which was convened to “prevent friction” in Syria.

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