Syria shoots down 'Israeli war plane' near Damascus

Syria 'Shoots Down' Targets in Suspected Israeli Attack

The Israeli military denied that any of its aircraft were hit, while not commenting on the reported strikes.

The Astana process by Russia, Iran and Turkey to end the Syrian conflict has only led to a "stalemate" in efforts to establish a constitutional committee crucial to a political settlement, the United States said on Thursday.

In recent months, Israel has carried out a number of military operations inside Syrian territory targeting Syrian and Iranian military sites.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor linked to the opposition, said Israeli missiles targeted areas just south of Damascus all the way to the Qunaitra region on the edge of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

According to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, the Syrian reports are false and no Israeli plane was shot down.

A military source quoted by the pro-government Al-Watan daily said "the aggression, despite its intensity, was not able to implement any of its goals and all enemy bodies were downed".

Russia's state-run RIA Novosti outlet cited a Syrian security source as saying the defenses downed an Israeli warplane and four missiles, but the Israeli Defense Ministry declined to comment.

Two missiles hit "weapons depots belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah (militant group) as well as Iranian forces" in Kisweh, and another missile hit the area of Harfa, where there is a Syrian military base, the Britain-based monitor said.

Unlike previous occasions, the Syrian authorities did not blame Israel.

Iran and Russian Federation are the government's key allies in the civil war that has raged Syria since 2011, and Moscow's intervention in 2015 dramatically turned the tables against the rebels.

Israel is concerned that Iran's growing presence in Syria poses a threat to its own security and has struck dozens of Iranian and Iran-backed positions in Syria over the course of the country's seven-year conflict.

However, a surface-to-air missile was sacked at an open area in the Golan Heights and IDF forces are searching the area for additional hits.

Following an incident in October where Syria downed a Russian plane during an Israeli air strike in Syria, Moscow provided Damascus with an advanced S-300 missile defense system.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin 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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