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giftedviz.com February 25, 2018


Israeli fighter jet crashes under Syrian fire, says military

11 February 2018, 01:17 | Darnell Patrick

A doctor working in a hospital. REX FEATURES

A doctor working in a hospital. REX FEATURES

Tensions ratcheted up on Saturday as an Israeli fighter jet that was part of a squadron launching air strikes on Syria was downed amid anti-aircraft missile fire, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Israel has long complained about the involvement of archenemy Iran, and Iranian proxy Hezbollah, in the Syria war. "Iran only provides military advice to Syria", Iranian TV quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying. On their way home, an F16 fighter jet was attacked by a massive barrage of Syrian air defense. "The Ministry calls on the countries concerned to curb the Israeli practices and stop its attacks".

"The fact that this happened not far from our home, the fact there was an Iranian drone overhead is not nice and makes us uncomfortable", he said.

Iran issued a joint statement alongside the other main allies of the Syrian regime, Russian Federation and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, vowing a "relentless response" to Israeli "aggression".

"We deny all unfounded allegations by the Zionists".

"I reiterated our right and duty to defend ourselves against attacks from Syrian territory", Netanyahu said, adding that the two leaders agreed to continue their coordination on Syria.

A pro-government military alliance in Syria said in a statement that Israel would see a severe and serious response to its "terrorism" from now on. "Whoever is responsible for this incident is the one who will pay the price".

"We hail the courageous retaliation of Damascus", the statement said referring to the downing of the Israeli F16.

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Israel's leading daily Haaretz reports that Syrian anti-aircraft missiles targeted an Israeli F-16, prompting the pilots to eject. The circumstances of the abandonment were under investigation.

The Israeli military said it was investigating whether its jet was hit directly.

The Syrian Air Defense forces reportedly employed the Soviet vintage S-200 ( North Atlantic Treaty Organisation reporting name SA-5 Gammon) long range, medium-to-high altitude surface-to-air missile (SAM) system designed in the 1960s to shoot down the F-16I.

Hezbollah, in a statement released on Saturday evening, praised "the vigilance of the Syrian army and its valiant response to shoot down the hostile Israeli aircraft".

A number of strikes on targets in Syria have been attributed to Israel.

Israel and Syria are technically at war, though the armistice line on the Golan Heights had remained largely quiet for decades until civil war erupted in Syria in 2011.

Iranian and Iran-backed Shi'ite forces, including Lebanon's Hezbollah, have deployed widely in support of Assad. It also said Israeli raids targeted areas in southwestern Damascus, bordering the southern provinces.

Israel operates over 200 F-16I Sufa figher jets, which were acquired in 2004 and are heavily customized version of the Lockheed Martin F-16D Block 50/52.



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