Syrian air defence missiles downed an Israeli F-16 warplane attacking a military base near Damascus today, Syrian media reported the incident which was later confirmed by the Israeli army.
Today’s incident was the first time that Israel lost an aircraft in a combat situation since 2006 when an Israeli Yasour (Sikorsky CH-53) helicopter was shot down over Lebanon, Jerusalem post reported.
Pro-Assad regime media outlet, Sana.sy said “the army air defense confronted a new Israeli aggression on one of the military positions in the central area and hit more than one aircraft on Saturday morning.”
Meanwhile, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) told local media that an Iranian drone, which was launched from a Syrian base in the Homs desert, was identified approaching Israeli airspace around 4am Saturday and was intercepted by an Israeli Air Force Apache helicopter near the town of Beit She’an.
In response, Israeli aircraft targeted the drone’s launch site in which heavy anti-aircraft missile fire was launched by the Syrians against the Israeli jets. “During the Air Force operation, anti-aircraft missiles were fired at the aircraft and the pilots of one of the planes ejected themselves. The pilots fell inside Israel and were evacuated to hospital,” an IDF statement said adding that one of the pilots was severely wounded while the other one was slightly injured.
The IDF denied Syrian claims that a second aircraft had been hit. The identity of the downed Israeli warplane was not confirmed either.
Al Qaeda-linked militants in Syria shot down a Russian Su-25 aircraft using a man-portable anti-aircraft missile system on February 3, killing its pilot. "A Russian aircraft crashed during a flight over the Idlib de-escalation area," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday
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