Saturday, February 10, 2018

Israel F-16 shot down by Iran

Anti-aircraft fire downed an Israeli warplane returning from a bombing raid on Iran-backed positions in Syria on Saturday in the most serious confrontations yet between Israel and Iranian-backed forces.

The F-16, one of at least eight Israeli planes dispatched in response to what Israel said was an Iranian drone’s incursion into its airspace earlier in the day, was hit by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile and crashed in northern Israel.
Iran’s involvement in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad's nearly 7-year-old civil war - including the deployment of Iran-backed forces near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights - has alarmed Israel. Israel and Syria signaled they were not seeking wider conflict.

Russia, whose forces began intervening on behalf of Assad in 2015, expressed concern and urged both sides to exercise restraint and avoid escalation.