The Assad regime’s army was said to have downed an Israeli warplane and a drone on Tuesday, but Israel denied the report saying it was “completely false.”
The General Command of the Syrian Armed Forces said in a statement that the incident occurred at 1:30 am local time Tuesday (6:30 p.m. ET Monday), after Israeli warplanes attacked a Syrian army position in al-Quneitra, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights .
The statement said that Syrian air defense shot down a warplane southwest of al-Quneitra, and a drone west of the town of SaaSaa.
But the Israeli military denied any of its aircraft had been downed, saying two missiles were indeed fired at them during the air strike, but missed their targets.
The Israeli military said earlier that its aircraft had attacked targets in Syria, just hours after a stray mortar bomb from fighting among factions in Syria struck the Golan Heights on Monday evening. No casualties were reported in the Israeli-held territory.
The Israeli mission had been conducted to strike Syrian regime targets after a projectile launched from Syria had struck the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. No casualties had resulted from the Syrian strike on the Golan Heights, the IDF said.
Israel has responded similarly in the past when fire from the Syrian civil war spilled over into its territory. A military spokeswoman told Reuters that Tuesday’s strike was the fourth retaliation since September 4.
The strike came hours after a nationwide ceasefire in Syria brokered by the United States and Russia went into effect on Monday evening, the second attempt this year by Washington and Moscow to halt the five-year-old crisis.
Since the signing of a 1974 disengagement agreement between Syria and Israel, a cease-fire line has separated the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from a Syria-administered buffer zone.
The agreement also calls on both Syria and Israel to refrain from conducting any military action in the area in line with UN Security Council Resolution 339 of 1973.
Israel occupied the Golan Heights during the 1967 Middle East war. In 1981, in a move never recognized by the international community, the Jewish state annexed most of the territory.