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Israel, Iran, and Turkey suffer air losses over Syria

12 February 2018
The remnants of a missile from a 2K12 Kub air-defence system is seen in Hasbya district in Lebanon on 10 February. Source: Ali Abdo /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Israel, Iran, and Turkey all lost aircraft on 10 February in an apparent escalation of the conflicts involving Syria and its neighbours.

An Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-16I Sufa fighter came down in Israel after being hit by a Syrian surface-to-air missile (SAM), a Turkish Army Aviation Command T129 ATAK attack helicopter crashed supporting the operation against Kurdish fighters in the Afrin area of Syria, and an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was shot down by an Israeli AH-64 attack helicopter inside Israeli airspace.

The Israeli jet and Iranian UAV were lost in a series of engagements that spanned several hours and was billed as the largest clash between Syria and Israel since the 1982 war in Lebanon.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it began at 0425 (0225 GMT) when an Iranian UAV crossed into the Golan Heights and was shot down by an AH-64. It released a video that appeared to show one of the UAV types that Iran has derived from a captured RQ-170 Sentinel stealth UAV being hit by a missile.

The IDF said it responded by carrying out airstrikes against Iranian UAV control stations at T4 (Tiyas) Air Base in Homs province. The Syrians resisted the attack by launching multiple SAMs at IAF aircraft, hitting an F-16I, the two crew members of which ejected over Israel.

More Israeli aircraft then targeted Syrian air defences and additional Iranian-linked sites in Syria just before 0900. The IDF said 12 targets, including three air-defence batteries and four Iranian military targets, were attacked. More Syrian SAMs were launched in response, triggering alarms across the north of the country.

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