Israel Shoots Down Syrian Fighter Jet

In a statement Monday night, the White Helmets thanked "all governments who contributed" to the evacuation and asked the global community - if it won't act to end Syrian offensives - to "do more to help the hundreds of thousands remaining in southern Syria". The fate of the pilot was unknown.

The Syrian pilot of the Sukhoi jet was reported killed in Tuesday's incident, a casualty of Syria's move to oust rebel Sunnis from the Syrian side of the Golan. The plane reportedly crashed into the Yarmouk area in Syria; it was not immediately confirmed if the two pilots ejected before the plane was downed.

In recent weeks, the rescue volunteers in southern Syria became squeezed between advancing government forces and an expanding local ISIS affiliate.

"The plane was under surveillance, penetrated about two kilometers into Israeli territory and was intercepted", the IDF Spokesperson said in a statement, adding that since the early morning, there has been an increase in the internal fighting in southern Syria, which brought about an increase in Syrian Air Force activities.

Yesterday, Syrian government forces reached the border fence at the edge of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights for the first time since the country descended into civil war in 2011.

The incident added new fuel to weeks of tensions over the Golan, a strategic plateau between the two old enemies and where Israel has been on high alert as Syrian government forces, supported by Russian Federation, close in to regain rebel-held ground.

Incoming rocket sirens blared across the Israeli Golan Heights, sending residents of the area scrambling to bomb shelters.


The country's military has been on high alert as the fighting in Syria has moved closer to the Golan Heights. This is a gross violation of the 1974 Separation of Forces agreement with Syria.

The source said the plane fell in a pocket of territory held by Islamic State-affiliated forces adjoining the occupied Golan Heights. We can not wait to see what are the real intentions of this fighter.

"This is a problem we have to be very cautious about, to make sure Iran does not establish its forces along our border", said retired Brig.Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, a former head of the Israeli military's Intelligence Research and Assessment Division.

Syrian fighter brand "Sukhoi" invaded Israeli airspace.

According to the Observatory, some 9,500 people have been bused from southwest Syria to Idlib.

"Fantastic news that we - United Kingdom and friends - have secured evacuation of White Helmets and their families - thank you Israel and Jordan for acting so quickly on our request", tweeted British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.


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