SHAFAQNA- Israel shot down a Syrian warplane on Tuesday, saying the aircraft crossed the battle lines of Syria’s war and flew over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, perhaps by accident.
The incident coincided with but did not appear to be directly related to the unauthorized airstrikes the United States and Gulf Arab allies mounted on jihadi strongholds in Syria.
The Israeli occupation army said its US-supplied Patriot missile air defense system shot down a Syrian Russian-built Sukhoi fighter plane that had “infiltrated Israeli airspace” over the territory, illegally occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war.
It was the first time in three decades that Israel had downed a Syrian warplane.
Syria described the downing of the aircraft as an act of aggression.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, commenting on the incident, said Israel “will not allow any element — neither a state nor a terrorist group — to threaten our security and violate our sovereignty.”
Israeli warplanes have have carried out several strikes on ground targets inside Syria since the eruption of the war in 2011.
Israeli military sources said the plane apparently crossed by accident into Israeli-controlled airspace.
An Israeli Patriot missile destroyed a Syrian drone over the Golan on August 31. Israel last downed a manned Syrian aircraft in 1985, when Israeli fighters over Lebanon destroyed two Syrian MiG-23s that approached them.
Israeli war jets and drones violate Lebanese airspace on a daily basis.