Syrian Army shot down Israeli F-16 during IDF strikes on Iranian targets in Syria

An Iranian drone infiltrated Israeli territory Saturday morning, the IDF retaliating and striking Iranian targets in Syria.

The IDF targeted the location of the launch as well as other Iranian positions in Syria, the Syrian Army firing heavily on the Israeli jets. Syrian Army anti-aircraft fire hit one of the F-16’s in the strikes, the Israeli pilots ejecting from the plane into Israeli territory where the aircraft crashed.

The pilots were evacuated by IDF helicopters Saturday morning, one of the pilots in serious condition and the other lightly injured.

The IDF confirmed the events this morning, stating, “A combat helicopter successfully intercepted an Iranian UAV that was launched from Syria and infiltrated Israel. In response, the IDF targeted Iranian targets in Syria. The IDF will continue to operate against attempts to infiltrate Israeli airspace and will act with determination to prevent any violations of Israel’s sovereignty.”

It confirmed that it had hit 12 targets, “including three aerial defense batteries and four Iranian targets that are part of Iran’s military establishment in Syria were attacked.”

The Syrian Army claimed the “Israeli enemy” conducted “a new aggression against one of the military bases in the central region,” lying to the media and claiming its air defenses “confronted it and hit more than one plane.”

On Wednesday of this week, the Israel Air Force last carried out airstrikes on the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center in Jamraya outside of Damascus. The facility is part of a military complex that includes schools, war reserve units, training areas for special forces and a communication center by a Syrian-Korean company. The facility also houses the tech school that belongs to the Syrian agency for scientific research, which is entrusted with developing the country’s unconventional weapons, including the arsenal of chemical and biological weapons.

The military complex is protected by Russian-produced anti-aircraft missile batteries. This facility was attacked multiple times in the past, the last major attack from Israel confirmed in 2014.

Prime Minister has been clear that Israel will not allow Iran to entrench itself in Syria. On Iran’s efforts and growing military presence in Syria, he stated recently “We [Israel] will not allow a regime hell bent on the annihilation of the Jewish state to acquire nuclear weapons. We will not allow that regime to entrench itself militarily in Syria, as it seeks to do, for the express purpose of eradicating our state.”

You can find Amir’s LIVE update on these events from this morning here.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, February 10, 2018, and reposted with permission.