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Dublin: 3°C Friday 26 February 2021

Israeli military says it shot down Syrian jet that infiltrated its airspace

The Israeli Defence Forces launched two missiles at a Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet.

File Photo: A trio Sukhoi fighter jets
File Photo: A trio Sukhoi fighter jets
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

ISRAEL SHOT DOWN a Syrian fighter jet with surface-to-air missiles on today after the plane infiltrated its airspace, the military said, a rare incident that could provoke tensions.

“A short while ago, two Patriot missiles were launched at a Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet that infiltrated into Israeli airspace,” the Israeli Defence Forces said in a statement.

“The IDF monitored the advance of the fighter jet, which infiltrated about two kilometres into Israeli airspace. It was then intercepted by the Patriot missiles.”

It was the first time Israel shot down a manned Syrian fighter jet since 2014.

The army said there had been an increase in “internal fighting in Syria,” including involving the air force, since the morning hours.

It said it was on “high alert and will continue to operate against the breach” of a 1974 ceasefire agreement between the two countries.

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.

Today’s incident comes a day after Israel’s air defences fired at Syrian rockets it feared could hit its territory.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Jerusalem yesterday to discuss the Syrian conflict.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day war, in a move never recognised internationally.

Israel has been on high alert since 19 June, when Syrian government forces launched the Russia-backed offensive to retake Quneitra and Daraa and provinces, adjacent respectively to the Israeli-held section of the Golan and to Jordan.

© AFP 2018 

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