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Israel warplanes launch overnight attack on Syria

A F-16 of the Israeli air force seen on June 16, 2008 during a training excercise [Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway /Wikipedia]
A F-16 of the Israeli air force seen on June 16, 2008 during a training excercise [Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway /Wikipedia]

Israel conducted airstrikes in Syria overnight causing the Syrian air defences to retaliate using surface-to-air missiles, according to Syrian state TV.

The attacks targeted a rural area in central Syria around Homs, the country's third-largest city.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the ongoing conflict in Syria, reported that huge explosions were heard south of Homs coming from a Hezbollah military base that is thought to manufacture weapons.

Prior to the attack, local residents witnessed Israeli jets circling the area, and Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV reported they had been doing so for over an hour.

The Syrian military claimed that it had successfully hit one of the jets during the Israeli attack, warning of "dangerous consequences". In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Syria's retaliation "unacceptable", stating that "if anyone attempts to harm us, we will harm them back".

Read more:Israel says it will intensify response to Syrian fire

According to the Israeli army spokesperson, the Israeli planes were in fact on a reconnaissance mission in Lebanon to photograph sites for Israeli intelligence.

Syria's Foreign Ministry yesterday called on the United Nations Security Council to condemn Israel's attacks on Syria.

The Foreign Ministry asked the Security Council to take "strict and immediate" measures to stop such Israeli attacks, in a statement carried on the state-run SANA news agency.

This incident follows on from a recent series of skirmishes between the two countries, with carrying out attacks in the form of airstrikes and assassinations, while accusing Syria and Hezbollah of provocation by rocket fire.

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IsraelLebanonMiddle EastNewsSyria
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