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Hezbollah hails Syrian air defences for downing Israel F16

AFP  |  Beirut 

Lebanese Shiite movement hailed Syria's air defences after they downed an Israeli fighter jet on Saturday, saying it marked the start of a "new strategic era".

"This is the beginning of a new strategic era which puts an end to the violation of Syrian airspace and territory," said in a statement published by Lebanon's ANI agency.

Hezbollah, which is backing Syrian Bashar al- Assad's in his country's civil war, praised the "vigilance of the Syrian army" and said it had "bravely blocked Israeli warplanes and downed an F16".

struck what it said were Iranian targets inside on Saturday in "large-scale" raids after an Israeli warplane crashed under fire from Syrian air defences, its military said.

The confrontation was the most serious between arch-foes and since the civil war in began in 2011.

said the raids came after it intercepted what it said was an Iranian drone entering its airspace from

denounced Israeli "lies" and said Syria had the right to self-defence in response to Israeli strikes.

Separately, issued a joint statement with the Syrian regime's other main allies -- and -- denying Israel's account of the drone.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, February 10 2018. 23:40 IST