An Israeli F-16 fighter jet crashed early Saturday morning, February 10, in northern Israel after coming under “massive anti-aircraft fire” from Syrian forces, according to the Israeli army.
The incident came after an Israeli combat helicopter successfully intercepted an Iranian drone that had been launched from Syria, an Israeli military spokesperson said.
Both pilots aboard the Israeli jet are safe, the Israeli army said, although one pilot was severely injured as a result of an emergency evacuation from the plane.
After the plane came down, Israeli forces attacked 12 targets in Syria, including three aerial defense batteries and four targets described as Iranian by the Israeli military spokesperson.
At a public event on Saturday, Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) accused the right-wing Israeli government of purposely escalating military operations against Syria. “With endless violations of Syrian and Lebanese sovereignty, UN resolutions, and ongoing cooperation with extremist group, there is no surprise we find ourselves where we are now,” the Communist lawmaker said.
Touma-Sliman went on to attack Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally, saying he and his government would “do anything to distract the public from the recommendations on Netanyahu’s criminal investigations…. Netanyahu is willing to bring about a regional war that the residents of the region will pay the price for dearly, simply to ensure his political survival.”