Security camera captures crash of Israeli F-16 downed by Syria
Footage shows the burning plane plummeting down, followed by a massive flash of light caused by the explosion when the plane hit the ground; 'We heard an insane explosion, the entire house was shaking,' says Muss, whose security camera captured the crash.
A security camera in a village in northern Israel captured the crash of the F-16 fighter jet shot down by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile on Saturday.
The footage shows the burning plane plummeting down, followed by a massive flash of light caused by the explosion when the plane hit the ground.
"We heard an insane explosion, the entire house was shaking," said Mussa from Ka'abiyye-Tabbash-Hajajre, whose security camera captured the crash. "I went outside towards the crash site, and only when I returned home did we see in the cameras and realized what had happened."
After an Iranian drone infiltrated Israeli airspace and subsequently shot down by the IAF, Israeli fighter jets attacked Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria.
Syria's air defense systems fired 10 anti-aircraft missiles at the plane, hitting one of them. The pilots ejected before the plane crashed. One of the pilots was seriously hurt and the other was in light condition.
IDF soldiers continued on Sunday morning to clear the debris of the plane that crashed near Kibbutz Harduf.
"The plane crashed right at the entrance to the kibbutz, several meters from the high school, the electricity room, the rest of the kibbutz," said kibbutz secretary Yuval Elad. "There was great panic in the early morning hours (of Saturday), but we came out of this miraculously, we suffered no damages—not in lives nor in property."
Saturday's airstrikes marked the toughest Israeli aerial assault in Syria in decades.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war in Syria through a network of activists on the ground, said Sunday that at least six Syrian troops and allied militiamen were killed in the airstrikes. The six included Syrian and non-Syrian allied troops, the Britain-based Observatory said.
In Saturday's attacks, the Israeli jets came under heavy Syrian anti-aircraft fire and the pilots of one of the F-16s had to eject before the plane crashed in northern Israel. One pilot was seriously wounded and the other one lightly.
Israel would not confirm whether its aircraft was shot down by enemy fire, which would mark the first such instance for Israel since 1982, when it was fighting a war in neighboring Lebanon.
Israel has recently issued several stern warnings about the increased Iranian involvement along its borders with Syria and Lebanon.
Israel fears Iran could use Syrian territory to stage attacks or create a land corridor from Iran to Lebanon that could allow it to transfer weapons more easily to Hezbollah—a powerful Iran-backed Shiite militant group sworn to Israel's destruction.
Though Israel has largely stayed out of the Syrian conflict, it has struck weapons convoys destined for Hezbollah dozens of times since 2012.
Israel has also shot down several drones that previously tried to infiltrate its territory from Syria, but the capture of an Iranian drone and the direct targeting of Iranian sites in response marked a dramatic escalation in the Israeli retaliation.
Israel has long complained about the involvement of archenemy Iran, and Iranian proxy Hezbollah, in the Syria war. Both have sent forces to back Assad, who appears headed toward victory. Israel has said it will not accept a permanent military presence by Iran and its Shiite allies in Syria, especially near the Israeli border.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.