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Israel shoots down Syrian fighter jet that entered Israeli airspace

A missile from the Israeli Iron Dome, launched during the Operation Pillar of Defense to intercept a missile coming from the Gaza strip. (IDF/Flickr and WikiMedia Commons)
July 24, 2018
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This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

The Israeli military says it fired two Patriot surface-to-air missiles Tuesday at a Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet that was about a mile into Israel.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted that the fighter jet was “intercepted” by the missiles, meaning it was shot down.

The missiles were reportedly fired near Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

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This is apparently the first time Israel has shot down a manned Syrian aircraft since 2014, the BBC reported.

A Syrian news agency said one of its jets was targeted but did not mention whether or not the aircraft had been hit or taken down. There are unconfirmed reports that the pilot was killed, the BBC has reported.

“Since this morning, there has been an increase in the internal fighting in Syria and the Syrian Air Force’s activity. The IDF is in high alert and will continue to operate against the violation of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement,” the IDF tweeted.

The Syrian news agency said the plane was apparently targeting “armed terrorist groups,” which is how Syria often refers to rebel groups.

Tensions in the area have been on the rise, as Israel Monday fired its David’s Sling missile defense system for the first time, in response to two Syrian medium-range surface-to-air missiles that were approaching, according to the military.

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