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At approximately 6:30 A.M. this morning, an Israeli F-16 fighter jet was shot down while flying over the western countryside of Damascus, reported Al Masdar News (Syria).
According to preliminary reports from Damascus, the F-16’s pilots were able to eject from their planes after it was struck by an anti-aircraft missile.
The two pilots are safe and landed in Israeli territory.
Israeli media claims the F-16 was downed by an Iranian drone that was flying along the Israeli-Syrian border; however, pro-government media claims the aircraft was downed by the Syrian Air Defense.
The downing of this Israeli F-16 marks the first time during this war that an Israeli warplane has been shot down.
An Iranian unmanned aircraft entered Israeli territory from Syria early Saturday morning and was shot down by the Israeli Air Force, the army said. In response to the breach, the air force struck Iranian targets in Syria, reported The Times of Israel.
The Syrian army targeted Israeli jets with anti-aircraft missiles during the raid, setting of alarm sirens across the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley. One anti-aircraft missile fell inside Israeli territory, causing no damage.
An Israeli F-16 went down during the incident. The army said the pilots ejected after being targeted by missiles. The two pilots landed safely and the plane fell in a field near a road in Israeli territory, in the Jezreel valley.
In a statement, the military said the drone incident was “a serious breach of Israeli sovereignty by Iran.” Tehran, it added, was “dragging the region into an adventure, and will pay the price.”
The drone was identified approaching Israeli airspace at around 4 a.m., setting off alarms in the Beit Shean area near the Sea of Galilee. It was identified by air defenses and downed by an Apache helicopter upon entering Israeli territory. The army said the drone’s remains were in Israeli hands.
The IDF said it attacked the drone’s launch site in Syria, the Tiyas Military Airbase near Palmyra, in “a complicated surgical strike.” The strike reportedly targeted a facility housing the unmanned aircraft’s Iranian operators.
The air force was met with heavy Syrian anti-aircraft fire. During the activity an F-16 targeted by anti-aircraft missiles went down in Israeli territory, crashing near Kibbutz Harduf in the Jezreel Valley. The pilots ejected and landed safely. They were taken to hospital for medical examination.
Syrian state media said air defenses repelled an Israeli raid, hitting more than one warplane.
show source https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-syrian-forces-israeli-fighter-jet-near-occupied-golan-heights/ https://www.timesofisrael.com/army-intercepts-iranian-drone-that-breached-israeli-borders/