Israeli Military Shoots Down Syrian Aircraft

A Syrian fighter jet is seen in flames after it was hit by the Israeli military over the Golan Heights on Tuesday. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

A Syrian fighter jet is seen in flames after it was hit by the Israeli military over the Golan Heights on Tuesday. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

TEL AVIV—Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet that entered its airspace over the Golan Heights, the first such strike in nearly 29 years amid heightened fighting between the regime and rebels for control along the sensitive border.

“The Syrian plane, identified by the Israeli military as a Sukhoi Su-24 Russian-made aircraft, penetrated about a half-mile into Israeli airspace and had turned to return to Syrian-controlled territory when it was shot down.”

The intercept is the latest sign of instability along the Golan Heights frontier due to the Syrian war, though former Israeli air force officers said they believed that the Syrian jet crossed into Israeli controlled airspace by accident. The aircraft downing came just hours after the U.S. and Arab allies launched an expansive air offensive against Islamic State fighters and strongholds in Syria, though Israeli experts said there appeared to be no connection.

The Syrian plane, identified by the Israeli military as a Sukhoi Su-24 Russian-made aircraft, penetrated about a half-mile into Israeli airspace and had turned to return to Syrian-controlled territory when it was shot down. The military said the jet was intercepted midflight using the Patriot air defense system.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said the aircraft approached Israeli territory in a “threatening manner” and then crossed the border…(read more)

WSJ



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