The Israeli air force struck the air defense battery of the Syrian government forces after they were fired, when carried out reconnaissance in the skies over Lebanon.
The Syrian army has warned of "dangerous consequences" following an airstrike by Israel on a regime SA-5 anti-aircraft battery east of the capital of Damascus after it fired a surface-to-air missile at Israeli jets.
Israel and Hezbollah fought a devastating war in 2006. "One of the planes was hit, which forced the aircraft to leave", according to a statement issued by the Syrian army.
Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror said it was the first time Israel has targeted a military center instead of a warehouse or weapons convoy.
In January, the Israel Air Force received its first Arrow 3 interceptor, the most advanced Arrow system which is created to provide ultimate air defense by intercepting ballistic missiles when they are still outside the Earth's atmosphere. This would put it 50 miles from the Syria-Lebanon border, which is well within the potential range of the Soviet-era long-range SA-5.
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But the SA-5s are nearly completely ineffective against Israeli aircraft, which can maneuver to prevent the antiquated radar from locking in on them.
The SA-5, also known as the S-200, is a Russian-designed anti-aircraft system that has been in use since the late 1960s. Therefore, it's no surprise that all the Syrian missiles thus far have missed their targets, with the Israeli jets having plenty of time to take evasive action and return to base safely. "Today, they tried to hit our planes - this is not acceptable". Thus what was defined as a Syrian provocation in the morning had become a chance to reinforce Israel's red lines by the afternoon.
The answer might lie in what happened eight hours later in Tel Aviv.
The incident occurred shortly before an expected visit by Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu to Israel. He is set to meet with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Liberman as well as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Russian Federation and Israel have established a hotline to avoid accidental clashes in Syria.
In a conference call with The Israel Project, which publishes The Tower, Ephraim Segoli, a retired IAF general, now with the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, said that the unsuccessful Syrian attack against the Israeli planes was something "unique" that Israel might have to address. Message delivered and received.