The Israel Defense Forces remain on “high alert” as of the latest reports available following an apparent breach of Israeli airspace this week.
A Twitter post on Tuesday confirmed the incident, explaining that IDF missiles were able to take down a Syrian fighter jet.
Two Patriot missiles were launched at a Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet that infiltrated about 1 mile into Israeli airspace. The IDF monitored the fighter jet, which was then intercepted by the Patriot missiles. pic.twitter.com/owL4Pm7zER
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) July 24, 2018
“Two Patriot missiles were launched at a Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet that infiltrated about 1 mile into Israeli airspace,” the IDF wrote. “The IDF monitored the fighter jet, which was then intercepted by the Patriot missiles.”
The provocation was especially rare, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
It also marked the first time in four years that Israeli forces intercepted a Syrian aircraft.
The missiles were launched at the aircraft after it had traveled approximately 1.2 miles into Israeli airspace.
It also occurred just minutes after state media in Syria aired footage filmed at the buffer zone established by the United Nations between Syria and Israel. That area includes the much-disputed Golan Heights region.
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— Fox News Research (@FoxNewsResearch) July 24, 2018
The advance by Syrian forces near the buffer zone marked the first time in at least seven years that Syrian forces reached the area. That previous military aggression coincided with the 2011 uprising within Syria against its own leader, Bashar Assad.
Syrian officials claim the jet was taking part in an exercise targeting terrorist groups in the region, CNN reported.
“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,” one military source said, according to Syrian state television.
Israel shot down a Syrian Sukhoi 24 jet flown into Israeli airspace nearly four years ago. Both the pilot and co-pilot were able to eject and survived after landing in Syria.
Earlier this year, the IDF reported that Syrian forces shot down an Israeli F-16 with “massive anti-aircraft fire.” Those pilots also ejected and survived, though both sustained injuries.
As of Tuesday morning, the Israeli military said it had not confirmed whether those on board the jet survived. The aircraft itself was said to be either a Sukhoi 24 or the Russian manufacturer’s 22 model fighter jet.
The models were developed between the 1960s and 1970s and both have been used extensively by the Syrian military.
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