Israel Shoots Down Syrian Fighter Plane With Patriot Missiles

Israel Shoots Down Syrian Fighter Plane With Patriot Missiles

Israel Shoots Down Syrian Fighter Plane With Patriot Missiles

The Israeli military shot down a Syrian aircraft Tuesday that penetrated Israeli airspace, according to a statement from the Israeli Defense Force.

"The IDF monitored the advance of the fighter jet, which infiltrated about two kilometers into Israeli airspace", the statement said.

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

It is only the second such incident along the border in 30 years.

The army radio report said the condition of the pilot was unclear.

Israel worries Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may defy a 1974 United Nations armistice that demilitarized much of the Golan, or let his Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah reinforcements deploy there.

Israel activated its anti-missile system as sirens sounded in the Golan and Emek HaYarden regional councils and the city of Katzrin. Danon says Israeli forces saw the plane "crossing the border. we tried to contact a few times, and there was no response".

The spiraling Israeli-Syrian tensions have spurred intercession by Moscow, which sent Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and its top general on Monday for talks with Netanyahu. We will not accept any such penetration of, or spillover into, our territory, neither on the ground nor in the air.

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Israeli officials said Netanyahu rebuffed as insufficient a Russian offer to keep Iranian forces 100km from the Golan lines.

Damascus, however, said the jet was targeted over Syrian territory as it flew sorties against Islamic State militants.

The plane crashed in Syria near its border zone with Israel, and the fate of the pilot remains unknown, the New York Times reported. Israel's Galei Tzahal radio station said that 800 people had been taken to Jordan from southern Syria, where government forces continued an operation against opposition units. The planes are mostly used for dropping unguided munitions, and have common in airstrikes against rebel-held territory across Syria.

An AFP correspondent said smoke could be seen rising from the area of the fence between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

He said Israel has been working for more than a year to make Russian Federation understand how "crucial" the Iranian issue is for Israel.

Israel had previously rejected a Russian proposal that Iranian forces be kept 80 km from the frontier, according to Israeli officials.

Israel has reacted strongly to any movements that could be perceived as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad defying the 1974 demilitarisation or allowing his Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah allies to deploy there.

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