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Israel Just Shot Down a Syrian Fighter Jet

But Damascus says it was never in Israeli airspace
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2018 8:26 AM CDT
A file photo of fighter jets at Hemeimeem air base in Syria.   (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

(Newser) – Israel angered Syria over the weekend when it coordinated the evacuation of members of the White Helmets civil defense group from the latter country. On Tuesday, things got even dicier, with Israel's military announcing that it shot down a Syrian jet that had crossed about a mile into Israeli airspace. The plane went down within the Syrian border, but it wasn't immediately clear if the pilot or pilots were able to evacuate, reports the Times of Israel. Syria, meanwhile, rejects the accusation that the jet was ever in Israeli territory. It's the first time in four years that Israel has downed a Syrian jet.

The incident comes as Syrian forces seek to reclaim territory near the Israeli border from rebels and Islamic State militants, notes the AP. In fact, Syrian TV was showing footage from the fence marking the UN buffer zone between Israeli and Syrian troops in the Golan Heights just prior to the plane being shot down. Israeli captured the Golan Heights from Syria back in 1967, and this is the first time in seven years that Syrian troops have been back along the frontier. (Read more Israel stories.)

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