Israel Shoots Down Syrian Jet Fighter

Israel Shoots Down Syrian Jet Fighter

The heightened Israeli-Syrian tensions have prompted intercession by Moscow, which sent its foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and top general for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"The only thing we know about the aircraft is that it crashed, most likely in the southern part of the Syrian Golan Heights", he said.

"We can not wait to see what are the real intentions of the pilot", he said.

One of the pilots of the targeted jet died, while the fate of the other is unknown, a Syrian military source told RIA Novosti.

Israeli soldiers look out towards Syria from an observation next to the Syrian border on July 23, 2018 in the Golan Hights.

The shooting is the first time that Israel has taken down a manned Syrian regime aircraft since September 2014, when another Russian-made Sukhoi jet was shot down in similar circumstances.

The army said there had been an increase in "internal fighting in Syria", including involving the air force, since the morning hours. This is a gross violation of the 1974 separation agreements between Israel and Syria.

The two pilots ejected and landed in Syrian territory.

Israel is not directly involved in the Syrian war but has attacked drones which have entered its airspace, and carried out dozens of air strikes on Syrian and Iranian military assets in Syria in recent years.

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The plane suffered a direct hit and crashed in the Yarmouk area in Syria.

According to data of the Sky News Arabia TV Channel, the plane fell on Syrian territory in the basin of the Yarmouk River.

It's the first downing of a Syrian jet since a U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet shot one down over Syria in June 2017 after it fired on U.S. -backed Syrian forces.

The IDF said the jet it shot down fell on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

The area taken from Islamic State fighters is located near the Golan Heights.

Israel has reacted strongly to any movements that could be perceived as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad defying the 1974 demilitarisation or allowing his Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah allies to deploy there.

Both Russia and Iran are backing Assad in the civil war.

As he has in the past, Netanyahu demanded during the meeting that all Iranian fighters and their allies be removed from Syrian soil in the long-term, media said.

Witnesses said the Israeli army launched two interceptor missiles, followed by explosions.

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