Israel has shot down a Syrian jet with surface-to-air missiles after the aircraft crossed into Israeli airspace.
“This is a blatant violation of the 1974 separation agreements between Israel and Syria,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.
“We will not accept any intrusion or spillage into our territory, either from the ground or from the air.”
The jet, either a Sukhoi 22 or 24, crashed on the Syrian side of the fence in the Golan Heights and it was unclear what happened to the pilot or pilots, Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus told journalists according to local media.
A Syrian military source confirmed Israel had fired at one of its aircraft but said the fighter had been carrying out operations against jihadists over Syrian territory.
Israel “targeted one of our warplanes… in Syrian airspace”, the source said, cited by state news agency SANA.
State media in Damascus gave no account of the fate of the plane or the pilots.
According to Conricus, the plane left from the T4 airbase in central Syria before heading towards the Israeli-occupied Golan. Israel’s military monitored the plane throughout and shot it down with two Patriot missiles, Conricus said.
This is the first time Israel shot down a manned Syrian jet since 2014.