Syrian air defense troops shot down an Israeli warplane and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the southwestern province of Quneitra, the Syrian army command said in a statement Tuesday.
“Our air defenses opened fire and shot down the [Israeli] combat aircraft and UAV west of the Sasa settlement,” the command said.
Israeli aircraft carried out an attack at 1 a.m. local time on the positions of the Syrian army in Quneitra, General Samir Suleiman, head of the Syrian Arab Army information department, told Sputnik.
“Syrian air defense forces responded and shot down a F-16 fighter jet in the southwest of Quneitra, and an Israeli drone over the Damascus’ suburb of Sa’sa,” he said.
The general added that the Israeli air forces have attacked Syrian army positions in support of armed terrorist groups who suffered big losses during their last battle with government troops.
“The enemies give logistical and moral support to the terrorist groups, they opened Israeli hospitals and medical centers for the injured terrorists after the Syrian army carried out operations against militants in Quneitra,” Suleiman told Sputnik. “Terrorists constantly receive military support from the Israeli armed forces via artillery fire and air attacks on Syrian army positions.”
Earlier in the day the Syrian Armed Forces said in remarks published by state media that an Israeli warplane and an unmanned aerial vehicle were downed in the southwest Quneitra province in response to cross-border strikes. Israeli media reported that it was the fourth such strike in two weeks.
Israeli aviation, however, did not incur losses during an overnight operation in Syria despite being attacked by surface-to-air missiles, an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) official said on Tuesday.
“Tonight two surface-to-air missiles were launched from Syria after our aircraft attacked Syrian artillery positions. At none of the stages of the incident was the safety of the Israeli Air Force’s aircraft threatened,” Maj. Arye Shalicar told RIA Novosti.
The Israel Air Force (IAF) attacked Syrian artillery positions in the Golan Heights in the early hours of Tuesday after the latest episode cross-border shelling that began over the weekend, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.
Israel occupied a part of the Golan Heights during the 1967 war and has been administering it alongside other territories in the West Bank for almost half a century.