BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:37 P.M.) – CCTV video footage has captured the final seconds of an Israeli fighter jet that was struck by Syrian air defenses plummeting to the ground in a flaming wreck.
On Saturday, the Syrian Air Defence Force detected and engaged an Israeli F-16I multi-role fighter whilst it was on a mission to attack Syrian military targets.
During the engagement, at least one Syrian surface-to-air missile (believed to be an S-200) struck the Israeli warplane, critically damaging it and forcing its two pilots to eject. One of the pilots later died in hospital from severe injuries.
With the crash of the stricken F-16, the Syrian Air Defence Force could claim its first official kill of an Israeli warplane in the history of the country’s 7-year war.
Within an hour, Israeli jets launched a general attack against Syrian and (according to Israeli military sources) Iranian military targets across western Damascus as well as one target in eastern Homs.
The Israeli counter-attack failed to deliver any strategic or operational blow to Syrian military forces.