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Israeli air strikes against Syria 'biggest since 1982'

Saturday - 10/02/2018 17:37
srael says it has inflicted huge damage on Syrian air defences after one of its fighter jets was brought down during a raid over Syria.
GETTY IMAGES / The fighter jet was carrying out strikes on Iranian targets in Syria, the Israelis say (file picture)
GETTY IMAGES / The fighter jet was carrying out strikes on Iranian targets in Syria, the Israelis say (file picture)

The response was the "most significant attack" of its kind against Syria since the 1982 Lebanon war, said senior Israeli air force general Tomer Bar.

The F-16 jet went down during a mission that followed an Iranian drone launch into Israeli territory, Israel says.

The two pilots parachuted to safety before the crash in northern Israel.

Israel says it responded with a second wave of strikes on both Syrian and Iranian military targets operating inside Syria.

Israeli air strikes in Syria are not unusual, BBC Middle East correspondent Tom Bateman says, but the loss of an Israeli fighter jet marks a serious escalation.

Anti-aircraft effects over the Syrian-Israeli border in the Golan Heights. Photo: 10 February 20218
EPA
Anti-aircraft fire smoke over the Syrian-Israeli border in the Golan Heights

Later on Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a meeting with his military chiefs. He said Israel wanted peace but would defend itself "against any attack against us or any attempt by Iran to establish itself against us in Syria".

In other developments:

  • A Turkish helicopter was shot down as the country continued its offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. Two soldiers on board were killed, the Turkish military says
  • UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said the past week was one of the bloodiest in Syria since the conflict began in 2011 - with at least 277 civilian deaths reported

How did events unfold on Saturday morning?

Israel's military says one of its combat helicopters downed an Iranian drone infiltrating Israel. It tweeted footage of the incident.

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Source:

 Key: Israel, Syria

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