Israel bombs targets in Syria, near Damascus: monitor

Greek troops on exercise fire an S-300 surface-to-air missile like those delivered to Syria after a September Israeli strike during which a Russian aircraft was accidentally downed

Greek troops on exercise fire an S-300 surface-to-air missile like those delivered to Syria after a September Israeli strike during which a Russian aircraft was accidentally downed

Still, in September the Israeli army was accused of being indirectly responsible for a Russian military plane being shot down near the Syrian coast, killing 15 Russian crew members.

The Israeli army did not claim responsibility for the bombardment and declined to comment on the report.

Head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdel Rahman said there are "weapons depots belonging to the Lebanese Hizballah (group) as well as Iranian forces" in Kisweh.

"Our air defences fired on hostile targets over the Kisweh area and downed them", the official SANA news agency reported, citing a military source.

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.

RT, another Russian state propaganda outlet, reported Friday morning: "The Israeli military has described reports that one of its jets was brought down while carrying out airstrikes in Syria as 'bogus, ' amid reports that the country's air defense systems engaged and downed several hostile targets'".

Abdel Rahman said Thursday was the first time the Assad regime's air defenses had been called into action since the incident on September 17 in which 15 Russians were killed.

"Reports regarding an IDF aircraft or an airborne IDF target having been hit are false", a military statement said.

The Syrian foreign ministry has sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General and the president of the UN Security Council containing a blistering criticism of the United States and Israel over their regular aggression inside Syrian territory.

Tehran has in recent months expanded its military presence in southern Syria after insurgents were driven out, with Hezbollah, by far the biggest of the Iranian-backed militias expanding its foothold there, according to regional security sources. Troops are scanning the area.

It is not yet clear whether the S-300s were among the air defense systems used in the Thursday night counterattacks. "This is just another piece of evidence that Israel supports terrorist groups and is trying to prolong the conflict in Syria".

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin 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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