Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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Israel shoots down Syrian fighter jet that infiltrated airspace: army

Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet with surface-to-air missiles Tuesday after the plane infiltrated its airspace, the military said, a rare incident that could provoke tensions.

"A short while ago, two Patriot missiles were launched at a Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet that infiltrated into Israeli airspace," the Israeli Army said in a statement.

"The IDF monitored the advance of the fighter jet, which infiltrated about two kilometers into Israeli airspace. It was then intercepted by the Patriot missiles."

It was the first time Israel shot down a manned Syrian fighter jet since 2014.

The army said there had been an increase in "internal fighting in Syria," including involving the air force, since the morning hours.

It said it was on "high alert and will continue to operate against the breach" of a 1974 ceasefire agreement between the two countries.

Israel has been stressing for weeks that it would enforce the ceasefire between it and Syria amid a Russian-backed government offensive in the country's south.

Tuesday's incident comes a day after Israel's air defenses fired at Syrian rockets it feared could hit its territory.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Jerusalem on Monday to discuss the Syrian conflict.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometers of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Mideast War, in a move never recognized internationally.

Israel has been on high alert since June 19, when Syrian government forces launched the Russia-backed offensive to retake Qunaitra and Deraa and provinces, adjacent respectively to the Israeli-held section of the Golan and to Jordan.

Source: National News Agency