Israel’s military denies Syrian claim it shot down Israeli aircraft

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s military denied a Syrian claim that its army shot down an Israeli fighter jet and an unmanned drone in Syrian airspace.

The Syrian claim on Tuesday morning that it shot down the warplane over the town of Quneitra, near the Israeli border on the Golan Heights, and the drone near Damascus came after Israeli fighter jets struck Syrian military installations in response to a fifth incident on Monday night of Syrian mortars hitting Israeli territory in recent days.

The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that two missiles were launched from Syria after the Israel Air Force targeted the Syrian artillery positions.

“Israel Air Force aircraft were far from the shooting and the shooting was not a threat to our forces,” the statement said.

The mortars landed in Israel hours after a cease-fire in Syria’s 5-year-old civil war was supposed to take effect.

The IDF blamed the Syrian government for the attack and said it will “continue to act in order to safeguard Israel.” The mortar likely was spillover from the civil war. No injuries were reported.

Stray rockets and shells have landed in Israel since the start of the civil war in Syria. The IDF frequently retaliates by firing at the source of the shells.

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