Israel on Tuesday said it shot down a Syrian warplane that entered its airspace in the Golan Heights as internal fighting just across the border intensified during a Syrian regime offensive to retake rebel areas.
The Israeli military said it fired two Patriot missiles at the Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet that crossed around a mile into Israel. It said there had been an increase in fighting across its northern border, including intensified Syrian air force activity.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said that the fate of the pilot and the location of the downed plane were not yet known.
Israel has become increasingly concerned about moves by Syrian forces and its allies, including Iran, near the occupied Golan. On Tuesday, Syrian state media says government forces had advanced close to the border with Israel after capturing territory from rebels and Islamic State militants.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967. A U.N. peacekeeping force was deployed in the region in 1974.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Loveday Morris