Israel will not permit any encroachments of its sovereignty in the Golan Heights, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, following the shoot-down of a Syrian fighter jet there earlier in the day.
“Our aerial defense systems identified a Syrian Air Force jet that took off from the T-4 Syrian Air Force base and penetrated Israeli territory,” Netanyahu stated. “This is a blatant violation of the separation of forces agreements between us and Syria in 1974.”
“I have reiterated and made clear that we will not accept any such violation,” the prime minister continued. “We will not accept any such penetration, or spillover into, our territory, neither on the ground nor in the air.”
“Our forces acted accordingly,” he emphasized. “We insist that the Syrians strictly abide by the separation of forces agreements between us and them.”
In Monday’s incident, the Israeli military launched two Patriot missiles at a Syrian Sukhoi plane. The Sukhoi had flown around a mile into Israeli airspace while taking part in the Assad regime’s offensive against the last remaining rebels in the border area.
The plane crashed in Syrian territory. According to media reports, the pilot did not survive the shoot-down.
The IDF fired at the fighter jet only after ensuring it did not belong to the Russian Air Force. The Russian military has operating in Syria on behalf of the Assad regime over the past three years, and Jerusalem and Moscow have gone to great lengths to avoid any unintended confrontations between their militaries.
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