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Israel Downs Syrian Fighter Jet That Entered Airspace

Israel Downs Syrian Fighter Jet That Entered Airspace
A picture taken on July 23 from the Golan Heights shows a warplane dropping a payload in the southwestern Syrian province of Daraa during a Syrian-government-led offensive in the area. (Jalaa Marey/Getty Images)

Tuesday, 24 July 2018 09:01 AM

Israel downed a Syrian fighter jet that entered its airspace, in a serious escalation of tensions as Syria’s civil war heats up along the Israeli frontier.

“The IDF monitored the advance of the fighter jet, which infiltrated about two kilometers (one mile) into Israeli airspace,” it said, using the acronym for the Israel Defense Forces. “It was then intercepted by the Patriot missiles.” It was the second time during the Syrian civil war that Israel has shot down a Syrian warplane, the Ynet website said.

Syria’s official SANA news agency, citing an unidentified military source, said Israel targeted the aircraft inside Syrian airspace.

Israeli leaders have warned repeatedly against spillover from the seven-year civil war as fighting intensifies just beyond the Israeli-held section of the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war. The Israeli military said in its text message that it is on “high alert and will continue to operate against the breach of the 1974 disengagement agreement” that ended its last war with Syria.

Fighting in the area has increased as forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad press an offensive to retake one of the last two remaining major opposition strongholds.

The Syrian pilot was warned in several languages and on several different channels before Israel shot down the plane, Ynet reported, citing military spokesman Brigadier General Ronen Manelis. Manelis said the plane took off from Syria’s T-4 airbase.

Tensions along the frontier haven’t been so high since February, when Israel launched a wave of airstrikes inside Syria following what it said was the infiltration of its airspace by an Iranian drone launched from Syrian territory. Israel shot down the drone, and an Israeli warplane was shot down in the course of the aerial attacks that followed.

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Israel downed a Syrian fighter jet that entered its airspace, in a serious escalation of tensions as Syria's civil war heats up along the Israeli frontier.
israel, syria, jet, fighter, airspace
294
2018-01-24
Tuesday, 24 July 2018 09:01 AM
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