Syria says it will respond to downing of jet by IDF
Following the downing of the Syrian Sukhoi warplane by Israel, a Syrian source says although the army's main priority is concluding the military operations in rebel-held areas, the response to the incident 'will not have to wait long'; In the meantime, Russia condemns the Israeli action and says its offer to keep the Iranian forces in Syria 100 kilometers away from the Israeli border is still on the table.
However, the source warned that the shooting down of the fighter jet will not go unanswered by the regime.
"You will not have to wait long for a response, but we’ll get there in a few steps, firstly we need to finish all the ongoing military operations in the country. The direct response to the Israeli forces will come at an appropriate time. The final step will be thwarting any attempts to remove the Syrian allies from the region.
“In Tel Aviv they are aware that the situation that was before the civil war is different from what will be after. It must be careful not to light the kind of fire that it will not be able to extinguish later. Israel shot down the plane knowing it was a Syrian plane in the Syrian airspace," explained the source.
The IDF shot down the jet after it entered Israeli airspace from the Golan Heights border on Tuesday afternoon. Damascus confirmed one of its jets was shot down, but insisted it was taking part in operations against rebels over Syrian territory.
A Syrian military official told Russian news agency Sputnik that one of the pilots of the jet, Omran Muri, was killed when the aircraft was shot down, while the fate of the other remains unknown. The source insisted the plane did not infiltrate Israel and was downed over Syrian territory.
The infiltration into the Israeli territory is believed to be a technical navigational error made by the pilot.
The downed plane took part in a heavy bombardment of the ISIS enclave—a militia called The Khalid ibn al-Walid Army—in the border triangle of Israel, Syria and Jordan, adjacent to The Yarmuk River, that has so far refused to surrender to Assad’s army.
In the meantime, during talks between Russia and Israel, the Russians expressed resentment over the downing of the Syrian plane and claimed that it did not enter Israeli territory. In response the Israeli side presented the Russians with a radar image that proves unequivocally that the plane had penetrated Israeli territory.
The Russians also officially addressed on Tuesday a claim made by an Israeli official, who said on Monday that during the talks held between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Russian delegation in Jerusalem, Israel had rejected the Russian proposal to keep the Iranian forces in Syria 100 kilometers away from the Israeli border.
The Russian Embassy in Israel posted a response on its official Facebook page denying that Israel had rejected the offer.
"The reports are not rooted in reality. The talks held between Israeli and Russian representatives in Jerusalem were productive and we were complimented on our efforts to stabilize the situation in Syria," concluded the official statement.