Israel Syria escalation
Israeli jets have successfully pounded targets in Syria, said the military Amir Cohen/Reuters

Syrian forces are reported to have fired anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli jets early Friday (17 March). The Israeli military confirmed that the missiles launched were from Syria, which targeted its warplanes. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) added that its defence system tackled one of the many missiles launched by the Syrian troops. The military engagement, which began on Thursday, 16 March, continued through several hours until Friday morning.

The escalation in the military confrontation between the two countries is thought to be at one of the highest levels ever since the Syrian civil war broke out years ago.

None of the missiles managed to strike the Israeli warplanes. It is seen as extraordinary that the IDF confirmed that its jets conducted air strikes in Syria. Though there have been several reports of Israeli forces pounding targets of forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Lebanese group Hezbollah, the army has hardly ever publicly acknowledged the claims.

While no Israeli casualty has been reported in the incident so far, IDF said the warplanes successfully struck targets in Syria. Sirens in West Bank's area of Jordan Valley went off in the wake of the missile launches.

Israeli media sources have speculated that the target of Friday's attack was a convoy of Syrian weapons going to Hezbollah.