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Israel jet crashes after 'Iranian targets' attacked in Syria

AFP  |  Jerusalem 

An Israeli fighter jet crashed on Saturday after coming under fire from Syrian air defences during attacks against "Iranian targets" in the war-torn country, a said.

The exchange of fire was the most serious between arch foes and since the start of the civil war in in 2011.

It marked the first time publicly acknowledged attacking what it identified as Iranian targets in since the war began.

The issued a warning to Tehran, saying it was responsible for the drone that entered

Israel has repeatedly warned in recent weeks against the presence of Iranian forces in neighbouring

The Israeli pilots of the crashed were reported alive.

The "targeted the Iranian control systems in Syria that sent the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) into Israeli airspace. Massive Syrian anti-air fire, one crashed in Israel, pilots safe," tweeted.

According to a separate military statement, Israeli forces identified an "Iranian UAV" launched from Syria and intercepted it in Israeli airspace with a combat helicopter.

Police said the crashed in the Jezreel valley in

"During the attack, multiple anti-aircraft missiles were fired at IAF (Israel Air Force) aircraft," the military statement read.

"The pilots of one of the aircraft abandoned as per procedure. The pilots landed in Israeli territory and were taken to the hospital for medical treatment."

Conricus meanwhile said that the had confirmed "accurate hits of (the) Iranian UAV control facility" in Syria.

"is responsible for this severe violation of Israeli sovereignty," Conricus said on

Syria said its air defences repelled two Israeli raids on its military bases in the centre of the country, hitting more than one warplane during the first.

"At dawn, the Zionist enemy carried out a new aggression against one of our military bases in the centre of the country," state agency reported.

"Our air defences repelled it and hit more than one plane."

The for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the seven-year civil war, said the Israeli raids had targeted several military bases in the east of the central province of used by both Iranian and Russian military personnel deployed in support of the regime.

Air raid sirens had gone off in Israel in the early hours of the morning following the UAV interception and raids.

The said it was "monitoring events and is fully prepared for further action, depending on assessments and necessity."

Israeli has held a series of meetings in recent months with Russian on Iran's influence in war-torn Syria and

Netanyahu has been seeking to persuade to limit Iran's presence near Israeli territory and to stop it from entrenching itself militarily in Syria.

Russia, and Lebanon's Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah -- which is backed by -- all support Syrian in the civil war.

In a meeting in last month, Netanyahu reiterated Israel's concerns of what he described as the attempts of Iran to establish a military presence in Syria and produce accurate weapons against Israel there.

"We won't accept either of those, and will act according to our needs," Netanyahu said following the meeting with Putin.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu had taken the members of his security cabinet for a tour of the Golan Heights, where they were briefed by the military on the situation.

"We want peace, but are prepared for any scenario, and suggest that nobody tries us," he said.

Israel has sought to avoid direct involvement in the Syrian war, but acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes there to stop what it says are advanced arms deliveries to Hezbollah.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, February 10 2018. 14:00 IST