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Israeli fighter jet crashes following 'large-scale' Syria bombing raids

An Israeli fighter jet crashed after coming under fire from Syrian air defences. [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 February, 2018

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A series of Israeli air raids have been launched on Iranian targets in Syria, with one jet downed following heavy anti-aircraft fire.

Israel's military launched "large-scale" raids on 12 Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria on Saturday after an Israeli fighter jet crashed under fire from Syrian air defences.

It marked the first time Israel publicly acknowledged attacking what it identified as Iranian targets in Syria since the war began.

Israel's raids came after it intercepted what it said was an Iranian drone entering its airspace from Syria.

"A few minutes ago, (Israeli aircraft)... targeted the Syrian Aerial Defence System and Iranian targets in Syria," a military statement said.

"Twelve targets, including three aerial defence batteries and four Iranian targets that are part of Iran's military establishment in Syria were attacked."

It added that "during the attack, anti-aircraft missiles were fired towards Israel, triggering alarms that were heard in northern Israel".

Israeli fighter jet crashes

Earlier on Saturday an Israeli fighter jet crashed after coming under fire from Syrian air defences during attacks on Iranian targets, Israel's military said.

One Israeli pilot was seriously wounded after an emergency evacuation from his F-16 jet after facing anti-aircraft counter-fire from Syria.

A second pilot was lightly injured after the F-16 crashed in the Jezreel valley in northern Israel.

Israeli planes had struck Iranian targets in Syria after an Iranian drone infiltrated Israel, the military said. Israel said it has the drone in its possession.

Air raid sirens had gone off in Israel in the early hours of the morning following the UAV interception and raids.

Israeli forces identified an "Iranian UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle)" launched from Syria and intercepted it in Israeli airspace with a combat helicopter, a statement said.

They then "targeted the Iranian control systems in Syria that sent the UAV into Israeli airspace", Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus tweeted.

"Massive Syrian anti-air fire, one F16 crashed in Israel, pilots safe."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the seven-year civil war, said the Israeli raids had targeted several military bases in the east of the central province of Homs.

It said the bases are used by both Iranian and Russian military personnel deployed in support of the regime.

The confrontation was the most serious between arch foes Israel and Iran since the start of the civil war in Syria in 2011.

Israel has repeatedly warned in recent weeks against the presence of Iranian forces in neighbouring Syria.

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