The IDF on Tuesday shot down a Syrian warplane that invaded Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights.
A Syrian fighter jet belonging to the Assad regime was detected over Quneitra near the Israeli border, before it crossed into Israeli air space on Tuesday morning. The IAF fired a Patriot surface-to-air missile at the warplane, striking it down.
“It was a Russian-made Sukhoi,” a military spokesman said.
IDF sources said the plane apparently crossed by accident into Israeli-controlled airspace over the Golan Heights – where fighting from Syria’s civil war has spilled over occasionally – and was not on a mission to attack Israeli targets.
Israel Radio said the warplane was apparently carrying out a mission against Syrian rebels battling the forces of President Bashar Assad.
The army has said in previous incidents that “The IDF will not tolerate any breach of the State of Israel’s sovereignty.”
Quneitra, on the Syrian Golan, has been a hotbed of the Syrian conflict in recent weeks as fierce battles raged just over the Israeli border between Assad’s Syrian Army forces and al-Qaida linked al-Nusra Front rebels.
The IDF previously shot down a Syrian army drone that intruded Israeli airspace in August. The IDF Spokesman’s Office said at the time that the drone had been launched from the Quneitra region in Syria, adjacent to the Israeli border.
Army sources said the drone likely belonged to the military of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and strayed into Israeli airspace by accident.
On Monday night US fighter jets began pounding Islamic State and Nusra Front targets throughout Syria, beginning the strafings on Monday night.
Reuters contributed to this report.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/IAF-shoots-down-unidentified-aircraft-over-Golan-Hights-376131