Syria shoots down 'Israeli war plane' near Damascus

Syria 'Shoots Down' Targets in Suspected Israeli Attack

Syrian opposition sources and groups on the ground said the area was close to where the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah has a powerful presence with several bases.

The report said among the areas hit was the countryside of Kisweh, home to military bases, just south of Damascus.

The Syrian Defense Ministry stated Thursday that "our air defenses are thwarting hostile targets over the area of Al-Kiswah and are shooting them down".

On Friday, a senior Syrian defense official refuted previous reports of air defense hitting an Israeli plane.

"Israeli forces bombarded for an hour positions in the southern and southwestern suburbs of Damascus as well as in the south of Syria at the border of Quneitra province" the Observatory's chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

Israel has reportedly carried out airstrikes in Southern Syria targeting Iranian militias, in its first publicized strike since September 16, when Syria's aerial defense system mistakenly targeted the plane after an attack by the Israeli air force near the Syrian city of Latakia.

"Reports regarding an IDF (Israeli military) aircraft or an airborne IDF target having been hit are false", it said in an English-language statement.

An Israeli military spokesman said on Thursday that no Israeli warplanes had been shot down.

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Also on Thursday, the Israeli army said a missile was sacked at the Israeli-occupied, Syrian Golan Heights, but that it remains unclear where the projectile fell, Haaretz reported.

Iran and Russian Federation are the government's key allies in the civil war that has raved Syria since 2011, and Moscow's intervention in 2015 dramatically turned the tables against the rebels.

Moscow pinned responsibility for the downing on Israel, saying its fighter jet used the larger Russian one for cover, an allegation Israel disputed.

Since then Israel has been very careful with its operation over Syria.

Following the incident, Russian Federation sent advanced air defense missiles to Damascus.

However, there was no evidence however that the S-300 batteries were used to intercept Israeli missiles overnight, as the defense system is not believed to be operational yet, giving Israel a window of opportunity to strike.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian Federation his country would continue to hit hostile targets in Syria to prevent Iran from establishing a military presence across the border.

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