Published: 2018-02-10 11:04
Last Updated: 2018-02-10 12:41
An Israeli F-16 fighter jet was shot down by Syrian military on Saturday while targeting what it called “Iranian sites responsible for launching a drone into occupied Golan Heights,” reported Al Jazeera.
“A combat helicopter successfully intercepted an Iranian UAV that was launched from Syria and infiltrated Israel,” the Israeli military said on Saturday.
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, Israeli military spokesman, said on Twitter: "IDF [Israel Defence Forces] has targeted the Iranian control systems in Syria that sent the #UAV into Israeli airspace. Massive Syrian Anti-Air fire, one F16 crashed in Israel, pilots safe."
As reported by Al Jazeera, this is the first time the Syrian military has shot down an Israeli plane, and the first time that Israel has said its planes carried out attacks inside Syria.
“In the past, the Israelis carried out attacks inside Syria but they would not mention anything about the target or even acknowledge attacks,” Al Jazeera’s Zena Khodr, reporting from Lebanon, said.
A Syrian military official said on Saturday that the Syrian army was targeted by Israeli “aggression” in the central region of the country, according to Syria state television.
The official added that Syria shot down more than one Israeli fighter jet after there were casualties among Syrian forces.
Following the incident, sirens sounded in northern Israel “as a result of massive Syrian fire,” reported Al Jazeera.
Israel chief military spokesman, Brigadier General Ronen Manelis, said that Israel held Iran directly responsible for the incident, adding that the Israeli military was "monitoring events" and was "fully prepared for further action."
"This is a serious Iranian attack on Israeli territory. Iran is dragging the region into an adventure in which it doesn't know how it will end," he said in a statement.
"Whoever is responsible for this incident is the one who will pay the price."