Israeli Airstrikes Hit 'Pro-Iranian' Targets in Southern Syria

A Russian soldier stands guard in front of an S300 surface-to-air missile battery like those delivered to Syria after a September Israeli strike during which a Russian aircraft was accidentally downed

Citing military sources, Syrian television said its air force had "successfully repelled enemy targets", but did not specifically identify the enemy or the targets.

Earlier Thursday night, Syrian state TV reported that the Syrian air defenses destroyed suspected Israeli missiles targeting military posts in the town of Kisweh near the capital Damascus in southern Syria.

The Syrian government was forced to retract a claim its forces had shot down an Israeli fighter jet in its territory, a short time after Tel Aviv said none of its planes had disappeared.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in neighbouring Syria against what it says are Iranian targets, many of them in the area south of Damascus.

If Israel is proved to be behind the attack, it would be the its first attack on Syrian targets since September, when it attacked military sites in Syria and led to the downing of a Russian surveillance aircraft by missiles mistakenly fired by Syrian air force in response to the Israeli attack.

However, speaking to Reuters, an Israeli military spokesman rejected the RIA report as "bogus".

"Air defense intercepts hostile targets over al-Kiswah and downed them", a military source was quoted as saying by Syria's SANA news outlet.

The Israeli warplanes hit Thursday night Kisweh, near the Syrian capital.

The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement on Twitter: "In the course of Syrian ground-to-air missile fire, (Israel's) air defenses sighted a single trajectory toward an open area of the Golan Heights".

Iran is a key ally of Syria's Bashar Assad and supports a number of militias that have fought alongside the Syrian army and its allies.

The attacks came after Moscow supplied Damascus last month with an advanced S-300 air defense system, not yet believed to be in use, as Syrians still need to be trained on operating it.

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

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Moscow, however, that his government would continue to hit hostile targets in Syria and "continue security coordination" with Russian Federation.

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