Published: Tue, July 24, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Tensions rise as Israel shoots down Syrian jet near Golan Heights

Tensions rise as Israel shoots down Syrian jet near Golan Heights

The state-run SANA news agency said Israel fired at the plane as it was "leveling [terrorist] encampments in the Saida region on the outskirts of the Yarmouk Basin, in Syrian airspace".

The Israeli military said it monitored the advance of the Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet and shot it down with a pair of Patriot missiles after it penetrated Israeli airspace by about 2 kilometres.

Israel's Haaretz news website said residents in northern Israel saw interceptor missiles fired and heard explosions.

Netanyahu said the Russian Federation delegation came to Israel on short notice at Putin's request to discuss the situation in Syria, where the Syrian army has been rapidly reasserting control over rebel-held areas of the southwest near Israel's border under surrender agreements brokered by Russian Federation. I do not know of any reports of parachutes being spotted, and we do not know if any pilots have been retrieved'.

Danon said Syria was warned not to breach the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement.

In the statement, the IDF said it had observed an increase in internal fighting in Syria adjacent to Israel, including increased activity from Syria's air force.

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The area taken from Islamic State fighters is located near the Golan Heights. The plane reportedly crashed inside Syria, killing its pilot.

The jet crashed on the Syrian-heold side of the Golan Height, according to the Israel Defense Forces, which appeared to acknowledge that its mission was related to the civil war inside Syria.

The spiraling Israeli-Syrian tensions have spurred intercession by Moscow, which sent Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and its top general on Monday for talks with Netanyahu.

Israel has repeatedly called for the continued enforcement of the agreement, as President Bashar Al-Assad wage a major offensive in southwest Syria to take over the last remaining strongholds of rebels in that part of the country. Lebanon's pro-Damascus TV station al-Mayadeen said the plane fell 15 km (8 miles) inside Syrian territory and did not enter the air space of the occupied Golan.

"We said there are also long-range weapons beyond that distance, and all the forces must leave Syria".

Israel and Syria have a border dispute in the Golan Heights and have squared off in aerial combat before, with Israel notably destroying much of Syria's anti-air batteries and losing one of its F-16s.

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