Israel downs Syrian fighter jet that breached its airspace

Geneva Stokes
July 25, 2018

Conricus said that the IDF increased air force activity in southwestern Syria on Tuesday morning.

Sirens rang out as a Syrian Sukhoi-model fighter jet reportedly crossed into Israeli airspace in violation of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement, which requires that Syria respect the demilitarized zone between the two countries, The Times of Israel reported.

IDF Captain Or Na'aman commanded the Patriot battery which shot down a Syrian fighter jet over Israel's northern Golan Heights Tuesday, the IDF has confirmed to The Jerusalem Post.

Military forces used two Patriot missiles to shoot down the Sukhoi fighter jet, having monitored its advance.

On Tuesday, Syrian forces reached the Golan Heights frontier for the first time in seven years.

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

Syrian state news agency Sana cited a military source which insisted that the aircraft was conducting raids in Syrian airspace when it was intercepted by Israeli forces. Netanyahu wants Russian Federation to keep both Syria and Iran, two clear enemies of Israel, far away from the Golan border.

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Israel's U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon says that Israel seeks "no escalation in the region".

Photos and video of the smoke trail left by the Patriot missile interception have surfaced on social media. We will not accept any such penetration of, or spillover into, our territory, neither on the ground nor in the air.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967. The flight of White Helmets members from Syria following an amnesty declared by Damascus proves they fear that their crimes might be further exposed, Russia's Permanent Mission to the European Union said in a statement on Wednesday.

It said Israel would "continue to operate against" any breach of a 1974 United Nations armistice deal that established buffer zones on the Golan.

Also on Monday, Reuters witnesses on the southern edge of the Israeli-occupied Golan saw numerous warplanes and helicopters in the skies over Syrian territory. Israel then presented clear radar images which "unequivocally" proved that the Syrian jet had flown into Israel.

The incident comes during a Russia-backed Syrian offensive to retake parts of southern Syria the Bashar al-Assad government lost to rebels during the civil war.

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