Israel shoots down Syrian warplane as Golan frontier heats up
Israel has said it shot down a Syrian warplane that crossed into the occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday, but Damascus said the jet was fired on as it took part in sorties against rebels within Syria.
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 Russia, close in to regain rebel-held ground.
Israel worries Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may defy a 1974 U.N. armistice that demilitarized much of the Golan, or let his Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah reinforcements deploy there.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Syrian jet had been in “gross violation of the separation of forces between us and Syria”. Israel “took appropriate action” he said.