'Our response to Israel airstrike was appropriate'

Syria’s UN Ambassador says his country’s retaliation for Israel’s airstrikes "changed the rules of the game".

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Elad Benari,

Bashar Al-Jaafari
Bashar Al-Jaafari
Reuters

Syria’s Ambassador to the UN, Bashar Al-Jaafari, said on Sunday that his country’s retaliation for Israel’s airstrikes overnight Thursday was appropriate.

"The Syrian response was appropriate and changed the rules of the game. Israel will think long before taking similar action in the future," Jaafari told Hezbollah’s Al-Manar network, according to a translation provided by Channel 10 News.

The ambassador further claimed that Israel intervened in the war in Syria because of the Syrian army's progress in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group.

Israel on Thursday night attacked targets in Syria, in what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later said was a shipment of weapons meant for Hezbollah.

Syria responded to the Israeli airstrikes by launching several anti-aircraft missiles towards the Israeli aircraft.

One missile was intercepted by Israel's Arrow air defense system, one of the first times the system has been used.

No Israeli soldiers were hurt, despite Syria’s claims that it downed one of the Israeli aircraft.

Syria reacted angrily to the Israeli airstrike and threatened to respond harshly.

"This flagrant attack is part of the Zionist enemy's persistent efforts to support the terrorist gangs of ISIS," the Syrian army said. "It will be responded to directly with all possible means.”

Jaffari’s comments followed reports in Syria, which said that an unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the Israeli Air Force opened fire on a car near Kuneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

According to the reports, the driver of the vehicle, who was not identified, was eliminated in the attack.