Sirens, clashes in north after IDF shoots down Iranian drone

Air force bombs Iranian targets in Syria in response to border breach, meeting heavy anti-aircraft fire; F-16 crashes in Israeli territory, pilots safe

F-35 fighter jets fly over Israel in an undated photograph. (Israel Defense Forces)

An Iranian unmanned aircraft entered Israeli territory from Syria early Saturday morning and was shot down by the Israeli Air Force, the army said. In response to the breach, the air force struck Iranian targets in Syria.

The Syrian army targeted Israeli jets with anti-aircraft missiles during the raid, setting of alarm sirens across the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley. One anti-aircraft missile fell inside Israeli territory, causing no damage.

An Israeli F-16 went down during the incident. The army said the pilots ejected after being targeted by missiles. The two pilots landed safely and the plane fell in a field near a road in Israeli territory, in the Jezreel valley.

In a statement, the military said the drone incident was “a serious breach of Israeli sovereignty by Iran.” Tehran, it added, was “dragging the region into an adventure, and will pay the price.”

The drone was identified approaching Israeli airspace at around 4 a.m., setting off alarms in the Beit Shean area near the Sea of Galilee. It was identified by air defenses and downed by an Apache helicopter upon entering Israeli territory. The army said the drone’s remains were in Israeli hands.

The IDF said it attacked the drone’s launch site in Syria, the Tiyas Military Airbase near Palmyra, in “a complicated surgical strike.” The strike reportedly targeted a facility housing the unmanned aircraft’s Iranian operators.

 The air force was met with heavy Syrian anti-aircraft fire. During the activity an F-16 targeted by anti-aircraft missiles went down in Israeli territory, crashing near Kibbutz Harduf in the Jezreel Valley. The pilots ejected and landed safely. They were taken to hospital for medical examination.

Syrian state media said air defenses repelled an Israeli raid, hitting more than one warplane.

Watch: F-16 pilots evacuated after ejecting from plane

Shaul Pinkerfeld, a security officer at Kibbutz Harduf, told Walla news: “A little bit after 6 a.m. we heard explosions. We woke up and understood that there was a plane or the remains of a plane on fire near the kibbutz entrance.

“There have been no special instructions for residents but there is no entering or leaving the kibbutz, and we don’t know for how long.”

Residents of northern Israel reported multiple alarm sirens in the early morning hours, which apparently came both in response to the drone and to Syrian missile launches. Some posted videos of the smoke-filled early morning skies.

The army said Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin were leading operations.

“The IDF is following events and is fully prepared for further action according to decisions and need,” the military said.

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One Comment on “Sirens, clashes in north after IDF shoots down Iranian drone”

  1. joopklepzeiker Says:

    Two IAF pilots hurt after F-16 downed during retaliatory strike in Syria
    Apache helicopter downs Iranian drone that entered Israel, triggering alarms in Beit She’an region; IDF attacks Iranian targets in Syria in retaliation; Syria fires antiaircraft missiles at Israeli F-16s, leading pilots to bail out; IDF: ‘Incident is ongoing. Iran dragging the entire region to an adventure and will pay the price.’,7340,L-5103264,00.html

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