Lebanese Troops Open Fire on Israeli Warplanes

Lebanese troops opened fire Sunday on four Israeli warplanes that flew into Lebanese airspace, the army said.

Israeli warplanes frequently fly over Lebanese territory in what Israel says are reconnaissance missions. The overflights have been a constant source of friction between the two countries. Sunday's incident comes amid heightened tensions in the Middle East following some of the sharpest exchanges in years between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

Last week, Syria's foreign minister accused Israel of "spreading an atmosphere of war" in the region after Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that the stalled peace process with Syria could result in an all-out regional war.

The Lebanese army said in a statement that its troops used anti-aircraft fire Sunday to force the Israeli warplanes out of Lebanese airspace. The army said the planes were in southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley in central Lebanon.

A spokesman for the Israeli military declined to comment.