Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman threatened to destroy Syrian air defense systems after they fired ground-to-air missiles at Israeli warplanes carrying out strikes targeting a Hezbollah weapons convoy.
“The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation,” Liberman said on Israel Radio.
The IDF on Friday confirmed its first operational use of the advanced Arrow missile defense system, which it said was used to shoot down a Syrian anti-aircraft missile that was fired at an Israeli jet.
Israeli warplanes had attacked several targets in Syria, the IDF said, prompting the Syrian attack.
It was the most serious incident between the two countries since the Syrian civil war began six years ago.
“We have no interest in interfering in the Syrian civil war, not for nor against Assad, and we have no interest in clashing with the Russians,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman clarified Sunday.
“Our main problem is with the transfer of advanced weapons from Syria to Lebanon. That is why every time we identify an attempt to smuggle game-changing weapons, we will act to thwart it. There will be no compromise on this issue,” the defense minister stressed. “If the IDF does choose to act, there is a real reason for it.”