Israeli Patriot missiles shot down a Syria Sukhoi fighter jet that entered one mile into Israeli airspace, The Times of Israel reported Tuesday.
Israel said that it tracked the plane from the time it took off from the T-4 airbase and traveled “at high speed” towards the Golan.
IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told reporters, “We have passed a number of messages, in a number of languages in order to ensure that no one violates Israeli air space.”
Conricus said that though the make of the jet was Russian, Israel was certain that it was Syrian.
Israel has insisted that it would enforce the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement with Syria, which established a demilitarized zone between the two combatants.
The plane’s infiltration set off rocket alert sirens across northeastern Israel.
It was the second time in two days that the sirens were sounded. On Monday, two ballistic missiles headed towards Israel set off the alarms and prompted the first use of Israel’s David Sling missile defense system.
Gen. (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser, the former director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, explained at a press briefing hosted by The Israel Project that the two incidents showed “some of the potential repercussions [of fighting in the Syrian Civil war now focused close to the Israeli border] and the potential misunderstandings of something like that.”
He also explained that Israel’s main concern about the fighting in Syria is the presence of Iran and its proxies there because “Iran is interested in turning its presence in Syria into a jumping board through which they can promote other goals, including weakening Israel and hurting Israel.”
A complete recording of the briefing is embedded below.
Earlier this month, a Syrian drone that infiltrated ten kilometers (6 miles) into Israel, was shot down by a Patriot missile over the Sea of Galilee.
Israel in February intercepted an Iranian drone that had penetrated Israeli airspace, which also had been launched from the T-4 or Tiyas airbase, where Iran is believed to maintain a presence. Israel reportedly carried out airstrikes against that airbase in February and April. In April, the IDF announced that the drone that had infiltrated in February had been armed with explosives.
[Photo: Freedom House / Flickr ]