In Brief

Syrian jet downed by Israel over Golan Heights

Rare confrontation could provoke tensions as Assad forces fight to regain border territory

Israel has shot down a Syrian jet over the Golan Heights, “in a rare strike that could provoke tensions as Syrian forces fight to retake ground close to Israeli-held territory” says The Guardian.

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.

Recommended

‘Boris Johnson must not hand power over Britain back to the Blob’
Boris Johnson wearing a mask
Instant Opinion

‘Boris Johnson must not hand power over Britain back to the Blob’

Real-life Succession, Iranian football and China’s #MeToo moment
Succession: a ‘toxic joy’
Podcast

Real-life Succession, Iranian football and China’s #MeToo moment

Are we heading towards World War Three?
Vladimir Putin
In Depth

Are we heading towards World War Three?

The VP, GPs and refugees
US Vice President Kamala Harris
Podcast

The VP, GPs and refugees

Popular articles

Are we heading towards World War Three?
Vladimir Putin
In Depth

Are we heading towards World War Three?

Woman diagnosed with ‘climate change’
Humber Bay Arch Bridge in Toronto
Stranger than fiction

Woman diagnosed with ‘climate change’

Channel crossing crisis: why Priti Patel’s ‘push-back tactic’ is not working
Priti Patel
In Brief

Channel crossing crisis: why Priti Patel’s ‘push-back tactic’ is not working

The Week Footer Banner