Israel denies its aircraft harmed after raid in Syria

JERUSALEM (AP) " The Israeli military struck artillery positions in Syria on Tuesday after a projectile from that country's civil war hit the Israeli-controlled part of the Golan Heights, but denied a Syrian claim that Syrian forces shot down two Israeli aircraft.

The incident was the fifth case since last week in which fighting in Syria has spilled over into Israel, and the first since a U.S.-Russia brokered truce went into effect at sunset on Monday to try and end the civil war, now in its sixth year.

Israel has largely remained on the sidelines of the fighting, but has carried out reprisals on Syrian positions when errant fire previously landed in Israel.

Shortly after the air raid, Syria's armed forces claimed to have shot down an Israeli warplane and an unmanned drone along the frontier.

The Israeli military quickly denied the report, saying that a pair of surface-to-air missiles were fired at its aircraft but missed. "At no point was the safety of IDF (Israel Defense Forces) aircraft compromised," it said.

Israeli warplanes have conducted several raids on Syrian army positions over the past weeks after stray shells hit the Israeli-controlled Golan.

Israel is also widely believed to have carried out airstrikes on arms shipments said to be destined for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, a close ally of the Syrian government.

On Tuesday evening the Israeli military said three other "projectiles" fired from Syria hit the Golan Heights in two separate strikes, causing no injuries. It would not elaborate further. A few hours later it said its aircraft retaliated and "targeted artillery positions of the Syrian Regime in the central Syrian Golan Heights."

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Mideast War and the two countries have technically been in a state of war for decades.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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