Iranian air defenses reportedly tried to shoot down an Israeli fighter jet in Syrian airspace, in what would mark the first direct military confrontation between the two enemy states.
By Erin Viner
The incident was revealed by an IDF source cited by the Ynet news agency, who said that Islamic Republic forces attempted to shoot down an IAF fighter jet during its strike on an Iranian target in Syria about 2 years ago. No damage to Israeli crew or aircraft was sustained during the failed attempt, while the IAF succeeded in destroying an Iranian battery stationed in the Arab Republic.
Meanwhile, the Syrian government is alleging that the IAF carried out further airstrikes on Monday.
The SANA state news agency reported that Israel had committed “a new aggression in the southern region” at dawn, but neglected to specify what was hit or whether there were any casualties.
The area said to have been attacked were located just over Israel’s northern border, where Tehran-backed forces – including its proxy Hezbollah terror group – have deployed in support of President Bashar al-Assad during the civil war raging in the country.
The IDF declined to comment on the latest allegations.
The Israeli military has launched hundreds of strikes against Iran-linked military targets in Syria and weapons convoys en route to Hezbollah over the years, but rarely acknowledges the operations publicly. Jerusalem leadership has repeatedly declared that Iranian entrenchment in Syria will not be tolerated.
A pro-Syrian regime source familiar with the incident was quoted by Reuters as claiming that an Israeli drone had struck several sites including a base operated by Hezbollah in al Baath city in Quneitra province and a second target. A third missile hit a reconnaissance tower near a Syrian army base, the source said.
Assad regained control of the Quneitra area from insurgent forces in 2018.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) organization reported that IAF rockets fired at 2 positions held by Syrian government forces and their allies in Quneitra province caused material damage, as as-of-yet unknown casualties.
Bennett revealed that he and the Russian leader reached “stable and good” understandings over the Arab state, in apparent reference to deconfliction efforts with Russian forces amid continued Israeli air strikes on suspected Iranian assets.
They also discussed the threat posed by ongoing Iranian nuclear development, said Bennett’s office.