CNN reported Tuesday that the Israeli military fired at a Syrian fighter jet as soon as it entered Israeli airspace. According to the Israeli Defense Forces, they launched two missiles at the jet when it “entered two kilometers into Israeli airspace,” but reported that the missiles did not actually collide with the jet until it returned to the airspace of Syria. The Israeli Defense Forces are currently unaware of the condition of the jet’s pilot.
A media report claimed that Syria was in the middle of an operation targeting terrorist groups when the jet was shot down. A state TV banner said, “The Israeli enemy targeted one of our warplanes while conducting air raids against these groups in the area of Saida on the outskirts of al-Yarmouk Basin in the Syrian airspace.”
Russian-backed Syrian forces have been attempting to regain control of the territory from a terrorist regime affiliated with ISIS in the al-Yarmouk Basin area over the past few days. The Yarmouk Basin is one of the few southern territories left that is currently not controlled by the state.
Israel reported that they had recently noticed an increase in Syrian military violence in the region due to the civil war that has plagued the nation for years.
The spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, commented that Israel made contact with Russia beforehand to ensure that the jet was Syrian and not Russian.
According to Conricus, “The jet took off from the T-4 military base northeast of Damascus.”
CNN reported that these “so-called ‘deconfliction measures’ have been in place between the two countries since Russian forces entered Syria on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad.”
While the jet, however, was made in Russia, it was being used by the Syrian air force at the time. The Israeli Defense Forces identified the jet as either a Sukhoi 22 or 24, both of which were made in the 1960s.
The last time the Israeli military shot down a Syrian fighter jet was back in 2014 when the jet crossed approximately one kilometer into Israel’s airspace. Both the pilot and co-pilot survived the missile attack by ejecting themselves from the jet.
In February 2018, Syria took its turn and launched a missile at an Israeli fighter jet after an Iranian drone crossed over and into Israeli airspace. After spotting the drone, Israel fired at Syria and the jet was destroyed during Syria’s counterattack.