Damascus – VIJAY SHAH via JUDITH VONBERG and The Independent
A fighter jet belonging to the Israeli air force participating in air strikes in Syria has reportedly been shot down while taking part in large scale anti-drone attacks against weaponry allegedly supplied by Iran, the UK’s Independent newspaper reported earlier today.
The Israel Defence Force (IDF) plane was part of a bombing raid on Iranian and Syrian-operated targets on Syrian soil including an aerial defence system. According to the Independent, the raid targeted twelve such targets, and the IDF reported that one of the F-16 bombers was knocked out, severely injuring the pilot. The crash took place in the north of Israel, close to the border with Syria. The pilot has been taken to hospital, according to armed forces sources.
Israel is said to have been plagued recently by drones operated by Iran crossing into its airspace. A drone was shot down early this morning and was seized by the Israeli military, which then authorised retaliatory raids on locations in southern Syria and just outside the capital Damascus, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war watchdog based in London, UK.
One raid attacked a base in the south of Syria said to be used by forces allied with the country’s president Bashar al-Assad and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, which is claimed receives funding and training from Iran’s government. Several soldiers and militants among the Syrians and Lebanese are reported to be among the casualties, although no toll has been published yet.
Syria is currently riveted by a multi-party civil war between various rebel groups and the official government of the Assad administration, with the UK, US, Israel, Russia and Iran also involved in the conflict on either side. Islamic State (Daesh) and Al Qaeda, two notorious Islamist groups have also inserted themselves into the calamity. 400,000 people have been killed so far in the civil war (up to April 2016), according to the United Nations, and hundred of thousands of refugees have fled Syria to escape the battles and bombings of civilian areas.
The Independent, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/TheIndependentOnline/
“Israeli fighter jet shot down during large attack against targets in Syria” – Judith Vonberg, The Independent (10 February 2018) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-jet-shot-down-syria-large-scale-attack-aerial-defence-system-israeli-defence-force-a8203956.html?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook
“F-16 Fighting Falcon” – U.S. Air Force (23 September 2015) http://www.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/104505/f-16-fighting-falcon/