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Tuesday 17th
posted by James Tweedie in World

ISRAELI jets fired missiles into Syria yesterday after Damascus said its air defence forces drove off an incursion into its airspace.

Israeli armed forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus claimed its planes were on a routine patrol along the Lebanese border when the came under fire from Syrian surface-to-air missiles.

He said they were not hit but other jets then “incapacitated” a Syrian anti-aircraft battery. Russian forces were notified.

A Syrian armed forces general command statement said the Israeli aircraft entered its airspace near Baalbek in Lebanon, far north of the border.

“Our air defences responded and directly hit one of the jets, forcing [the enemy] to retreat,” it said.

The Syrian command said Israel fired a number of missiles from inside the “occupied territories” — possibly meaning the occupied western part of the Golan Heights — hitting an army position in Rif Dimashq province.

It warned of the “dangerous repercussions” of Israel’s repeated aggression and its determination to defeat “terrorist groups, Israel’s arm in the region.”

Meanwhile Lebanon’s Al Masdar News reported that more than 50 militants were killed in infighting between insurgent factions in Turkish-occupied areas of northern Aleppo province on Sunday.

The same day the Syrian parliament condemned Turkey’s new invasion of Idlib province as “blatant aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.”

And US-backed Kurdish YPG militia said city of Raqqa would be liberated “within a few days” after 275 of the extremists and their relatives surrendered.