SYRIA CONFLICT: Israeli fighter jet shot down in large-scale assault

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.

SOURCES:

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

IMAGE CREDIT:

“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/

 

 

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CHICAGO BA FLIGHT: Pilot applauded after making emergency stop at Heathrow Airport

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Heathrow, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via WGN and ITV News

A British Airways pilot has been hailed a hero after a mechanical emergency forced him to make a stop at the UK’s Heathrow International Airport, potentially saving hundreds of passengers’ lives, Chicago-based news station WGNTV reports.

Flight BA295 was en route to Chicago, U.S.A. and was two hours into the flight when a malfunction developed with the landing wheels, causing the pilot to take evasive measures and return the plane back to Heathrow, it was reported. The pilot was able to land the stricken plane without any problem after two of the five sets of landing gear broke down, having notified everyone on board.

Boeing 747-400 takes off from London Heathrow ...
Boeing 747-400 takes off from London Heathrow Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a safety precaution to prevent the plane from tipping over due to the instability caused by the damaged wheels, passengers were asked to exit from the rear first. Several of them commented that the experience left them feeling scared but relieved that the pilot, who is currently unnamed in reports, acted calmly in dealing with the emergency.

The UK’s ITV News further reported that Heathrow was forced to temporarily close down the affected runway. Passengers experienced delays as only one runway was still in use. The airport apologised on Twitter for the inconvenience to travellers and advised holiday-makers to check with their airline before leaving for the airport.

British Airways has not yet released a statement regarding the BA295 incident.

SOURCES:
Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/topic/British-Airways/102805706422563?source=whfrt&position=1&trqid=6245885814059875889
“British Airways flight bound for Chicago makes emergency landing” – WGN Web Desk, WGNtv.com/WGN/Tribune Broadcasting (30 January 2016) http://wgntv.com/2016/01/30/british-airways-flight-bound-for-chicago-makes-emergency-landing/
“British Airways plane diverts to Heathrow for ‘technical reasons’ ” – ITV News/ITV plc (30 January 2016) http://www.itv.com/news/2016-01-30/british-airways-plane-turns-back-to-heathrow-for-technical-reasons/
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:Ba b747-400 g-bnle arp.jpg” – Adrian Pingstone, Wikimedia Commons (21 October 2007) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ba_b747-400_g-bnle_arp.jpg