Syria shoots down Israeli F-16 jet, pilots eject
The Syrian military has hit at least one Israeli F-16 warplane that attacked positions inside Syrian territory, sending it down in flames and smoke.
Syrian state TV cited a Syrian military official as saying that Syrian aerial defense had responded to Israeli “aggression” against an army base in central Syria.
The official said more than one Israeli aircraft had been hit.
‘One pilot in serious condition’
The Israeli military confirmed that one F-16 had gone down in northern Israel, and that its two pilots had ejected and had been located and transferred to hospital.
The Israeli army said later that one of the pilots was in serious condition, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The Israeli military claimed that it had attacked positions inside Syrian territory after it intercepted a drone launched from Syria on Saturday.
Syria forces refute Israeli drone claim
A pro-Syrian military alliance said later in the day that the Israeli claim about a drone intrusion was bogus.
The alliance said in a statement that Israel had targeted a drone base in Syria whose drones were used against the Daesh terrorist group.
It also pledged a “severe and serious” response to the Israeli act of “terrorism.”
Hamas says downing of jet ‘natural response’
Fawzi Barhoum, the spokesman for the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas, described the downing of the Israeli jet by Syria as a natural response to the regime’s attacks on Syrian territory.
“Countries and nations have the right to defend their soil, security, and stability in the face of threats,” he said.
Israel conducts new attacks
Meanwhile, Syrian media reported later on Saturday that explosions were heard near the capital, Damascus, as the Syrian air defense responded to “new Israeli aggression.”
Separately, The Jerusalem Post cited Israel’s Channel 2 as reporting that the Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv had temporarily halted air traffic.
Over the past years, Israel has frequently attacked targets in Syria, often claiming that it hit positions or convoys belonging to Iran. This is while Iran has no military presence in Syrian territory, only offering advisory military assistance to the Syrian government fighting an all-out foreign-sponsored militancy.(Press TV)