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Syria Claims Israeli Jets Were 'Aiding Islamic State' Near Palmyra

Damascus claims the Syrian Army successfully downed an Israeli jet that attacked targets near Palmyra

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Damascus  claims that it shot down an Israeli jet that "breached Syrian air space early in the morning and attacked a military target near Palmyra in what it described as an act of aggression that aided Islamic State".

Israeli sources say that the Israeli Air Force was targeting Hezbollah in northern Syria. 

<figcaption>Back in Israel or in a crater somewhere?</figcaption>
Back in Israel or in a crater somewhere?

It's suspected that the Syrian Army fired S-200 missiles at Israeli jets that entered Syrian airspace early Friday morning. 

This is certainly not the first time the Israelis have bombed Syria — or "aided" extremists fighting Assad. 

As we reported last week, Assad considers Israel a close ally of the "moderate" rebels in Syria. 

Speaking to European journalists about the recent bomb attacks in Damascus,  Assad dismissed criticisms of Iran, and instead blamed the west and Israel for "supporting directly the terrorists":

If you want to talk about the European role [in Syria], or the western role, because it’s being led by the Americans, the only role is to support the terrorists. They didn’t support any political process. They only talk about political process.

The role of Iran is completely different. They support Syria fighting terrorists. They support Syria politically.

Israel from the other side [is] supporting directly the terrorists — whether logistically, or through direct raids on our army.

Israel also has a strange habit of flying over terrorist strongholds but choosing instead to drop its bombs on the Syrian army. As we reported (via Al Masdar News) in late February:

A Syrian Army source told Al-Masdar this morning that the Israeli warplane had crossed into Syria after flying over Lebanon’s ‘Arsal Barrens, where both Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS) are headquartered in the eastern Beqa’a Governorate. The Syrian Army source added that the specific location of the attack was in the Jard Nalhleh area of the Qalamoun Mountains.

It appears that this is becoming routine for the Israeli Air Force. 

However, there is no independent verification that Israeli jets were damaged or destroyed during Friday's airstrikes. 

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