Israel shoots down Syrian warplane

27 July, 2018, 10:01 | Author: Essie Rivera
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Syria claimed its jet was flying inside its own airspace during an operation against "terrorist groups" when it was hit by Israeli fire.

In an interview with i24NEWS following the incident, retired IDF Major General Noam Tibon, former head of the army's Northern Command, said he believed the incident was indeed a mistake by the Syrian air force.

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. Yet Syrian Head of state Bashar al-Assad and also his backers, consisting of Russian Federation, have actually disregarded them as Western funded publicity items and also proxies of Islamist led uprisings.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 and still occupies the area.

Following the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it "a gross violation of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement with Syria". Israel's Galei Tzahal radio station said that 800 people had been taken to Jordan from southern Syria, where government forces continued an operation against opposition units.

"For the past few days we have seen movement of Syrian forces approaching the area close to our border, and all of our defensive systems have been on elevated readiness levels", he said.

Channel cameras showed the Israeli observation post 400 metres from the Syrian soldiers.

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The plane flew toward Israel at "relatively high speed" before breaching the country's airspace, said Conricus.

He said it is not known if the plane deliberately crossed into Israel, and the fate of the pilot is also unknown.

The Sea of Galilee is tens of kilometers from the Syrian border; the missiles would appear to have flown over the Golan Heights before landing. Israel had no reports on the condition of the pilot. He did not elaborate. As rebel forces negotiated surrender with government forces, the White Helmets were reportedly excluded from deals by Syrian officials and Russian representatives as a "a red line" who should be "eradicated", a source told the Associated Press. "We do not have any information so far about the pilots". "That's what any other country will do in a similar situation".

Israel last shot down a Syrian fighter jet in September 2014 under similar circumstances.

More than 5 million people have fled Syria during its seven-year-long civil war, according to the UN. It is unlikely they will be able to return to their homes in the near-term.

"Fantastic news that we - United Kingdom and friends - have secured evacuation of White Helmets and their families - thank you Israel and Jordan for acting so quickly on our request", tweeted British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

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