Israel shoots down Syrian fighter jet that 'infiltrated airspace'

Larry Hoffman
July 25, 2018

A Syrian official warned Tuesday night that his country will respond "soon enough" to the IDF shooting down a regime fighter jet after it entered Israel's airspace, according to a Lebanese news site.

As the commander of the Patriot Battery of the 138th Battalion, Na'aman was also in charge of the interception of a Syrian drone which fell south of the Lake of the Galilee nearly two weeks to the day of the downing of the jet.

"The only thing we know about the aircraft is that it crashed, most likely in the southern part of the Syrian Golan Heights", he said.

Syrian state media said Israel attacked "one of our war planes, which are leveling [terrorist] encampments in the Saida region on the outskirts of the Yarmouk Basin, in Syrian airspace".

It is the first time Israel has shot down a Syrian jet in four years. Syria said that the jet was sacked upon as it took part in operations against "terrorists".

It said there had been an increase in fighting across its northern border, including intensified Syrian Air force activity.

Israel and Syria have a border dispute in the Golan Heights, and have squared off in aerial combat before, with Israel notably destroying much of their anti-air batteries and losing one of its own F-16s.

Syria's state television said the army had liberated al-Harah hill in the second day of a major offensive to seize the remaining militant-held parts of southwestern provinces.

Before the meeting, Netanyahu said he would tell the envoys that "Israel insists on the separation of forces agreement between us and Syria being honored, as they were honored for decades until the civil war in Syria broke out".

'We do not have any information so far about the pilots.

The plane was intercepted with two Patriot missiles fired from the Tzfat area in the Upper Galilee.

Flames and smoke were also later seen rising from the area of the fence between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights, AFP news agency reports.

"Our aerial defense systems identified a Syrian Air Force jet that took off from the T-4 Syrian Air Force base and penetrated Israeli territory", Netanyahu stated.

"Israel has confirmed by this aggressive raid that it is patronizing terrorist formations, against which the Syrian troops are conducting military operations", the source stressed.

Israel says the Su-22 entered their airspace, and that it amounted to a violation of the 1974 Golan ceasefire.

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