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Israel accomplishes rare shoot-down of Syrian fighter jet

Israel Defense Forces shot down a Syrian fighter jet that penetrated Israeli airspace Tuesday, for just the third time in the last 33 years.

The IDF said the Russian-made Sukhoi aircraft had been under surveillance as it entered about a mile into Israeli airspace, setting off sirens in communities near the Syrian border.

The IDF said the jet came from an airbase near Hama, a previous target of least two Israeli airstrikes and a base used by Iranian forces for drone operations in Syria.

Syria said the jet was targeted by Israel while still in Syrian airspace.

The state-run SANA news agency said Israel fired at the plane as it was "leveling [terrorist] encampments in the Saida region on the outskirts of the Yarmouk Basin, in Syrian airspace."

Sky News Arabia reported the plane crashed in southwest Syria, an area still under Islamic State control.

Information was not immediately available about whether the pilots ejected or their condition.

Tuesday's shoot-down of a Syrian jet was just the third by Israel's air force since 1985. In the second, in 2014, the air force shot down a Sukhoi jet with a U.S.-supplied Patriot missile about a half-mile into Israeli airspace. By the time the missile hit, the plane was on its way back to Syria. The two pilots ejected and landed in Syria.

Monday, authorities said Israel used its David's Sling interceptor system for the first time to intercept two ballistic missiles launched from Syria.

Sirens sounded in northern Israel as the IDF implemented the intercept of two SS-21 ballistic missiles. One landed in Syria near the Israeli border and it was unclear if the system intercepted the second.
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