Israel shoots down Syrian fighter jet that entered its airspace

Mohamad Abazeed  AFP  Getty Images

Here is a video of the Israeli Patriot system being activated.

In response, Syria claimed that the plane had been carrying out an operation against jihadists.

Syrian state media said the warplane had been targeted by Israel and hit while conducting raids in Syrian airspace.

Syrian and Russian news outlets have reported that at least one of the pilots in the two-seat plane was killed in the missile strike.

Information was not immediately available about whether the pilots ejected or their condition. The plane fell inside Syrian territory, and the fate of the pilots was unknown, Israeli officials said.

A spokesman for the Israeli military said yesterday that Israel's policy in Syria still remains one of "non-interference".

This is the second incident involving the IDF and a Syrian warplane; the first time was in September 2014 when the Israeli military shot down a Russian-manufactured jet after it infiltrated the Golan Heights.

Israel's U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon says that Israel seeks "no escalation in the region". "It penetrated two kilometers into Israel territory and was intercepted".

More news: Tear gas halts Tour de France amid French farmers' protest

But Syria's state-run news agency denied this, and accused Israel of targeting a fighter jet over Syrian airspace.

Israeli soldiers look out towards Syria from an observation next to the Syrian border on July 23, 2018 in the Golan Hights. The government forces reached the border fence with the U.N.'s Disengagement Observer Force. "The IDF is in high alert and will continue to operate against the violation of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement", tweeted the IDF.

The United States and Russian Federation back opposing sides in Syria's more-than-seven-year-long civil war, but last week in Helsinki Trump and Putin outlined broad plans for increased cooperation between their two countries on worldwide security matters.

It has also pledged to prevent its arch-enemy Iran from entrenching itself militarily in the neighboring country.

Iranian forces used the base, which housed a command center for Iran's drone operations inside Syria.

The jet's downing comes at a time when Israel is pressing to ensure that its security concerns in Syria are addressed as President Bashar al-Assad's forces mop up remaining territory held by rebels in the south of the country.

Both Russia and Iran are backing Assad in the civil war.

Nickolay Mladenov, a United Nations envoy for the Middle East, warned on Tuesday of "a disturbing trajectory of increasingly frequent and unsafe confrontations" between Israel and Syria.

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