Syria has fired missiles at warplanes from Israel that were on a mission to destroy a convoy of weapons destined for Hezbollah the Lebanese militant group that is Iranian backed.
That prompted Israel to deploy the missile defense system it has. This incident was a rare military exchange between the pair of hostile neighbors.
Military officials from Israel said its military aircraft hit a number of targets inside Syria and when back within airspace that is Israeli controlled a number of anti-aircraft missiles were then launched by Syria toward the jets.
Israel’s aerial defense systems were able to intercept one missile, said members of the army, but did not elaborate.
The Israeli military did not say whether any of the other missiles had hit in territory held by Israel.
However, the military did say that the safety of civilians and the aircraft of Israel were not compromised.
It is believed that Israel carried out a number of airstrikes over the recent years on advanced weapons systems located in Syria, including anti-aircraft missiles made by Russia and missiles made by Iran.
It is very rare that the Israeli military comments on those types of operations and that the statement by the military detailing its raid and comments confirming such an operation were highly unusual.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the policy of the military in Israel is consistent. When identify is made of attempts to move weapons into the hands of Hezbollah Israel acts to prevent that from happening.
Hezbollah has fought side by side with the Syria military forces under the rule of President Bashar al-Assad in the civil war in Syria. The group, which is Iran backed is sworn to the destruction of Israel and fought a war of one month with Israel during 2006.
The missiles being fired from Syria at aircraft from Israel is very rare, although military officials in Israel reported a missile attack by a missile from shoulder holster a couple of months ago.
A television station in Israel reported the deployment by Israel of its Arrow defense system due to the first incoming missile, which it hit prior to it exploding in the country.
The powerful Minister of Transportation and Intelligence Yisrael Katz said that Israel’s message was clear that it would not be complacent with a policy in Syrian that arms with the Hezbollah.
A statement from the Syrian military said four warplanes from Israel violated the air space of Syria.