JERUSALEM -- Israel's air force attacked and destroyed a Syrian anti-aircraft missile battery on Monday morning, after a missile from the battery was fired towards Israeli aircraft over Lebanon, a military statement said.
An Israeli military spokesperson said in the statement that the strike was launched at around 10:00 a.m. (0700 GMT) against a Syrian army's battery located 50 km east of Damascus.
Four bombs were dropped at the SA-5 type long-range missile battery, the spokesperson said, adding that the attack came after a missile from this battery was fired at Israeli war jets that were in a "routine aerial photography activity."
"The Syrians thought that the aircrafts were intended to attack and fired an anti-aircraft missile that did not threaten the Israeli Air Force planes," the statement read.
Israel sees the incident as a "Syrian provocation" and will not allow a Syrian fire at its aircrafts, the spokesperson said. "Israel does not wish to escalate the situation and as far as we are concerned, the incident is over," the spokesperson added.
Hebrew-language Walla news site reported that Israel informed Russia, President Bashar Assad's ally, just before the attack.
The statement was a rare case in which Israel has officially acknowledged its military operations in Syria.
It is widely believed that Israel often carried out airstrikes on convoys and arsenals in Syria which were allegedly directed to Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite militia.