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Israel shoots down Syrian fighter jet near Golan Heights

JERUSALEM – The Israeli military says it has shot down a Syrian fighter jet that entered Israeli airspace over southern Golan on Tuesday afternoon.

The Sukhoi jet entered two kilometers into Israeli airspace when two Patriot missiles were launched to intercept the aircraft, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement. The fighter jet was being monitored by Israel during its flight, the statement added.

Syrian news agency SANA said Israel had targeted one of its jets over its airspace, but did not say it was hit. The agency quoted a military source as saying the plane was conducting raids against “armed terrorist groups” near the Yarmouk Valley.

Unconfirmed reports say that a pilot was killed.

It is reportedly the first time Israel has shot down a manned Syrian aircraft since 2014.

The shooting follows the day after Israel used its David’s Sling missile defence system for the first time.

The system was activated when two Syrian surface-to-surface missiles seemed to approach Israeli airspace.

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