Damascus, Feb 15 (AFP) Syria today repelled Israeli surveillance planes that breached its southern border, state media reported, days after an Israeli fighter jet was downed during raids on the war-torn country.

“Syrian air defences have repelled Israeli surveillance planes over Quneitra, forcing them to leave Syrian airspace,” the official SANA news agency said.

On Saturday, the Syrian government said it fended off an Israeli raid on a military base in the centre of the country, hitting more than one warplane.

That came after the Israeli military said one of its fighter jets had crashed after it came under heavy fire from Syrian air defences during strikes against “Iranian targets” in the war-hit country.

Israel has carried out dozens of air strikes on the Syrian armed forces and their allies since the civil war broke out in 2011.

Iran with Russia is the main military backer of the Damascus government.

Israel has largely confined its operations to targeting Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group that is a key ally of Iran. (AFP) CK 15020229

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.