Israeli F-16 jet crashes after Syrian fire

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits at a military outpost during a visit at Mount Hermon in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights overlooking the Israel Syria border

"Twelve targets, including three aerial defense batteries and four Iranian targets that are part of Iran's military establishment in Syria were attacked".

On early Saturday morning, the Israeli military hit an Iranian drone which had entered the country's airspace from Syria; and in response, they launched an airstrike on "Iranian targets" in Syria.

However, Russia has voiced serious concern about the latest developments in Syria and called on all sides to avoid an escalation of the situation.

"We urge all parties involved to exercise restraint and to avoid any actions that could lead to an even greater complication of the situation". "We consider it necessary to unconditionally respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other countries of the region".

Following the downing of the jet, Israel carried out what an Air Force general said was the "largest and most significant" strike in Syria since 1982. "I want to make it clear: Israel seeks peace, but we will continue to defend ourselves with determination against any attack and any attempt by Iran to entrench itself militarily in Syria or anywhere else".

The pilots, one of whom was in severe condition with abdominal injuries, were evacuated to Haifa's Rambam Hospital. "This was a defensive effort triggered by an Iranian act of aggression and we are defending our airspace, our sovereignty and civilians", an Israeli military spokesman said on Saturday. It was the first Israeli jet to crash since an F-4 Phantom II piloted by Yishai Aviram and Ron Arad came down in southern Lebanon in 1986. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the seven-year civil war, said the earlier Israeli raids had targeted several military bases in the east of the central province of Homs. On a visit to Israel last month, US Vice President Mike Pence called Iran the world's "leading state sponsor of terror".

A military expert talked to Sky News Arabia TV, revealing that he obtained "news that the Israeli F-16 fell inside the Jordanian territory".

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Syria said Wednesday it has responded to "a new Israeli aggression" after aircraft targeted a military outpost near Damascus, claiming its air defense system destroyed most of the missiles. The military said that attack caused material damage. He added that there was no Iranian or Russian anti-aircraft fire.

Syria said its air defences repelled two Israeli raids on its military bases in the centre of the country, hitting more than one warplane during the first.

Israeli media said the jet crashed in northern Israel. The eight Israeli jets were met again by anti-aircraft fire, leading to another round of air-raid sirens across the Golan Heights.

According to Kuperwasser, Moscow is "being used by the Iranians", securing Assad regime bases while Tehran continues to strengthen their hold in Syria.

Iran, along with Russian Federation - which had helped prop up the Assad government - denied that any of its drones had entered Israeli air space or that they had any role in shooting down the Israeli jet.

A second pilot was lightly injured while abandoning the aircraft.

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