Published: Wed, July 25, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Israel Defense Forces shot down a Syrian fighter jet in Israeli airspace

Israel Defense Forces shot down a Syrian fighter jet in Israeli airspace

The IDF said that jet - a Sukhoi 24 - had entered one kilometer into Israeli airspace before it was downed by a single Patriot missile. On Monday, two ballistic missiles headed towards Israel set off the alarms and prompted the first use of Israel's David Sling missile defense system.

As the Syrian regime has regained control of southern Syria, the border between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights has seen increased activity.

Syrian news agency Sana said Israel had targeted the jet over Syrian airspace, but did not say whether it was hit.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967.

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Israel has shot down several Syrian regime drones in the previous year.

Over the weekend, Israeli forces took part in a joint operation to rescue the White Helmets, a volunteer group that was providing aid to victims of Syria's 7 1/2-year long civil war.

Russian Federation has offered to keep Iranian forces in Syria away from the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights but Israel wants Tehran to completely withdraw, an Israeli official said Tuesday.

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

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Israel has been stressing for weeks that it would enforce the ceasefire between it and Syria amid a Russian-backed government offensive in the country's south. "We do not have any information so far about the pilots".

The aircraft took off from the Tiyas (T-4) Military Airbase in Homs province, the largest in Syria, and travelled "at high speed" toward the Golan Heights, according to the spokesman.

Israeli officials said Netanyahu rebuffed as insufficient a Russian offer to keep Iranian forces 100 km (62 miles) from the Golan lines. As the jet crossed the border, the Israeli missiles shot it down.

But with regard to Iran, an avowed enemy of the Jewish state, Netanyahu said: "Israel will continue to act against any attempt by Iran and its proxies to entrench militarily in Syria".

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In February, an Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace, prompting Israel to shoot down the drone and then launch an airstrike on the launch site in Syria. The pilot and co-pilot ejected and landed in Syria.

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