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Syria fired missiles at Israeli jets following a series of airstrikesby Circa News
Global News

Syria fired missiles at Israeli warplanes early Friday after a series of Israeli airstrikes inside Syria. This action is a rare military exchange between the two hostile neighbors that was confirmed by both sides.

The Israeli military said its aircraft struck several targets in Syria and were back in Israeli-controlled airspace when several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria toward the Israeli jets.

Israeli aerial defense systems intercepted one of the missiles, the army said, without elaborating. It would not say whether any other missiles struck Israeli-held territory, but said the safety of Israeli civilians and Israeli aircraft was "not compromised."

The army said the incident set off sirens in Jewish settlement communities in the Jordan Valley, part of the West Bank.

Here is a map of the Israeli airstrikes in Syria.

The firing of missiles from Syria toward Israeli aircraft is extremely rare, though Israeli military officials reported a shoulder-fired missile a few months ago.

A Syrian military statement said four Israeli warplanes violated Syrian airspace flying into Syria through Lebanese territory and targeted a military position in central Syria.

The Syrian statement, in line with typical anti-Western rhetoric from Damascus, said the "blatant aggression" was an attempt by Israel to support "terrorist gangs" of the Islamic State group inside Syria and "deflect from the victories" of the Syrian army in the country's civil war, which this week entered its seventh year.

Israeli Channel 10 TV reported that Israel deployed its Arrow defense system for the first time against a real threat and hit an incoming missile, intercepting it before it exploded in Israel.

The station said the Israeli military had been on a mission to destroy a weapons convoy destined for the Lebanese Hezbollah group, which is backed by Iran and fights alongside Syrian government forces.

There was no immediate comment from Hezbollah.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report.