After Syrian anti-aircraft missiles targeted Israeli fighter jets and downed one of them, the Israeli Air Force attacked 12 Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria. Meanwhile, Israel has contacted Moscow and Washington and asked that they intervene to prevent the situation from deteriorating any further.
Rocket sirens sounded in northern Israel as tensions escalate
The IDF has confirmed that the two Israeli pilots who ejected from their fighter jet on Saturday morning did so because they were targeted by Syrian anti-aircraft missiles. One of the pilots is in critical condition. The other one sustained minor injuries. The pilots ejected from the fighter jet over Israeli territory and landed in Israel. They were evacuated from the scene and are being treated at a hospital in Haifa.
“The IDF will act determinately against such severe violations of Israeli sovereignty by Iran and Syria and will continue to act as necessary,” the IDF Spokesperson wrote on Twitter. “The IDF is ready for various scenarios and will continue to act according to situation assessments.”
The IDF will act determinately against such severe violations of Israeli sovereignty by Iran and Syria and will continue to act as necessary.
The IDF is ready for various scenarios and will continue to act according to situation assessments.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) February 10, 2018
Responding to over 25 anti-aircraft missiles that Syrian air defense forces fired at the Israeli fighter jets, the Israeli Air Force attacked 12 Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria. According to the IDF Spokesperson, three aerial defense batteries and four Iranian military targets were among the sites that were attacked. Syria also fired anti-aircraft missiles at the Israeli fighter jets that were carrying out the attacks, triggering sirens in northern Israel.
Israeli fighter jet crashes in Israel Photo Credit: Facebook screenshot
Due to the escalation in northern Israel, flights were briefly grounded at Ben-Gurion Airport. Israeli media has reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is consulting with top defense officials regarding the situation. In addition, Israel has updated Moscow and Washington about the developments in hopes that they will help prevent the situation from deteriorating any further.
The incident began shortly before 4:00 AM on Saturday morning when an Iranian drone took off from the Syrian T-4 Airbase and headed toward Israel’s northern border. The Israeli Air Force detected the drone as it took off and tracked it while it approached the border. When it crossed into Israel’s airspace, the Israeli security establishment decided to shoot it down.
Evacuation of pilots Photo Credit: Shay Vaknin/TPS
In response, the Israeli Air Force sent four F-16 fighter jets to strike the airbase. Syrian air defense forces fired dozens of anti-aircraft missiles at the Israeli warplanes. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit stated that Iran violated Israel’s sovereignty. “Iran is dragging the region to an adventure and it knows how this will end,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit added.
The Iranian drone’s remains were discovered in Kfar Ruppin, a kibbutz in the Beit She’an Valley. The residents of the kibbutz have been instructed to remain indoors. The drone’s remains are being examined by Israel.