An F-16 fighter jet of the Israeli military was shot down by Syrian antiaircraft fire after it struck “Iranian sites” in the country in apparent retaliation for a drone flight that crossed into the Israeli territory. The Israeli military confirmed the development.
The F-16 jet went down in northern Israel on February 10. The Israeli military said that two crewmembers were rescued and brought to the hospital. They are in stable condition.
Another report says the two pilots ejected and parachuted to safety in Israel before being brought to the hospital.
Residents also reported hearing a number of explosions and seeing heavy aerial activity in the area near Israel’s borders with Jordan and Syria.
Israel military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus announced on Twitter that: “The Israeli Defense Force has targeted the Iranian control systems in Syria that sent the UAV ( unnamed aerial vehicle) into Israeli airspace.”
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">IDF has targeted the Iranian control systems in Syria that sent the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UAV?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UAV</a> into Israeli airspace. Massive Syrian Anti-Air fire, one F16 crashed in Israel, pilots safe. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Iran?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Iran</a> is responsible for this severe violation of Israeli sovereignty. Event ongoing, more to follow.</p>— Jonathan Conricus (@LTCJonathan) <a href="https://twitter.com/LTCJonathan/status/962191487806201856?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 10, 2018</a></blockquote>
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An earlier statement said: “A combat helicopter successfully intercepted an Iranian UAV that was launched from Syria and infiltrated Israel. The aircraft was identified by air-defense systems and was under supervision before being intercepted.”
The statement added: “In response, the Israeli Defense Forces struck Iranian sites in Syria.”