An Israeli F-16 fighter jet was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft fire on Saturday morning, following a renewed set of strikes that mark a serious escalation in the conflict.
Israel’s military said the new strikes were a retaliation to an Iranian drone launched from Syria into Israel, which was intercepted.
“A combat helicopter successfully intercepted an Iranian UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] that was launched from Syria and infiltrated Israel,” the military said on Saturday, adding that the drone had been “under surveillance until the interception.”
Iran is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Israel is concerned about its growing military presence in the country.
Israeli military spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said Iran was “responsible for this severe violation of Israeli sovereignty” in a tweet shortly after the incident.