Syrian air defenses confront Israeli spy drones

In this photo taken on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015 and provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, Russian Pantsyr-S1 air defense weapon system, foreground, and the S-400 long-range air defense missile systems are deployed at Hemeimeem air base in Syria. Russia has been carrying out an air campaign in Syria since Sept. 30. (Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

Syrian anti-aircraft guns have confronted Israeli reconnaissance aircraft over the southwestern Quneitra province, forcing them to retreat.

“Syrian air defenses have repelled Israeli surveillance planes over Quneitra, forcing them to leave Syrian airspace,” the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on Wednesday night.

The incident comes just a few days after the Syrian military downed an Israeli F-16 warplane over Syrian territory.

The Syrian military targets at least one Israeli F-16 warplane that attacked Syrian territory, hitting it and sending it down in flames and smoke.

The Israeli military confirmed that one F-16 had gone down in northern Israel, and that its two pilots had ejected and had been located and transferred to hospital.

Over the past years, Israel has frequently attacked targets in Syria, often claiming that it hit positions or convoys belonging to Iran. This is while Iran has no military presence in Syrian territory, only offering advisory military assistance to the Syrian government fighting an all-out foreign-sponsored militancy.

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