Hezbollah-affiliated radio denies Israeli attack in Syria
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Hezbollah-affiliated radio denies Israeli attack in Syria

Three soldiers loyal to the Assad regime reportedly killed during battles with rebels, not in IDF strike

Smoke and explosions from fighting between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels, in the Quneitra area, seen from the Golan Heights, June 17, 2015. (AP/Ariel Schalit/ File)
Smoke and explosions from fighting between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels, in the Quneitra area, seen from the Golan Heights, June 17, 2015. (AP/Ariel Schalit/ File)

The Lebanese Al-Miyadin network, which is affiliated with Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, on Saturday quoted sources denying earlier reports of an Israeli airstrike on Syrian targets.

Syrian media had reported that three soldiers loyal to President Bashar Assad had been killed overnight Friday-Saturday in a strike by an unmanned Israeli aircraft.

Al-Miyadin, however, claimed that the soldiers were killed in battles with rebels near the town of Al-Hamidiya, not by the Israeli military.

Israeli officials have not commented on the incident.

Last week, an Israeli drone was downed in Syrian territory by Syrian aerial defense systems. Syria said the drone, a Skylark, was downed over Quneitra in the Syrian Golan Heights. Lebanese terror group Hezbollah posted pictures of the downed drone on its social media pages.

The incident came after days of escalating tensions between Israel and Syria, set off by an Israeli raid on a Hezbollah weapons convoy near Palmyra, with Syrian air defenses firing missiles at the Israeli planes.

An Israeli army statement said “several anti-aircraft missiles” were fired following the raid, but that none hit their targets, dismissing a Syrian claim that one plane was downed and another damaged. One missile was intercepted by Israel’s Arrow missile defense battery, military officials said, in the first reported use of the advanced system.

It was the most serious incident between the two countries since the Syrian civil war began six years ago.

Israel has repeatedly vowed to prevent Hezbollah from acquiring any advanced weaponry and several strikes on such convoys over the years since the Syrian civil war began in 2011 have been attributed to Israel.

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