Syrian jet downed by Israel over Golan Heights
Rare confrontation could provoke tensions as Assad forces fight to regain border territory
According to Israeli reports, the incident happened over the Israeli-occupied territory, a claim disputed by Syrian news agency Sana which said the plane had been targeted over Syrian airspace.
It is unclear how the Syrian regime will react, although the Daily Telegraph says it “usually responds to Israeli strikes against its forces with angry condemnation but no significant action”.
It is the first time Israel has shot down a Syrian fighter jet since 2014, but “the trails of smoke above the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights are another sign of how Syria's war has agitated the dynamics between old foes in the region”, says the BBC’s Middle East correspondent in Jerusalem, Tom Bateman.
Israel and Syria fought their last war 45 years ago and have since then maintained an uneasy truce, with both forces separated either side of a 50-mile-long buffer zone.
Israel has managed to stay largely out of the brutal seven-year civil war that has raged over its border, however, this year has seen increased hostility between the two sides.
This is, in part, driven by Israel’s concern about the growing threat from Syria's allies Iran and the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah.
Israel has said it will tolerate Syrian forces returning to the border as long as they are not accompanied by Hezbollah fighters or Iranian troops.