The Latest: Israel says downed Syrian plane was moving fast

July 24, 2018 - 8:15 am

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

The Israeli military says the Syrian plane it shot down departed from the Syrian T4 air base, which Israel is believed to have attacked earlier this year.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus says Tuesday that the plane flew toward Israel at "relatively high speed" before breaching the country's airspace. He said it was unknown if the plane deliberately crossed into Israel nor what happened to its pilot. The plane crashed in the southern part of the Syrian Golan Heights, he said.

He said the increased activity near Israel's frontier with Syria put the military on "elevated alert" and prompted Israel to issue a number of warnings through different channels to ensure a 1974 agreement which sets out a demilitarized zone along the shared Syria-Israel frontier would not be violated

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2:45 p.m.

The Israeli military says it has shot down a Syrian fighter jet that entered its airspace.

The military says it monitored the advance of the Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet Tuesday and shot it down with a pair of Patriot missiles after it entered Israeli airspace by about two kilometers.

It is only the second such incident along the border in 30 years.

The military says that there had been an increase in the internal fighting in Syria since the morning hours, including an increase in the activity of the Syrian Air Force.

It said the Israeli military was on high alert and would continue to protect its territory.

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2:35 p.m.

Syrian state media says government forces have reached the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights after capturing territory from rebels and Islamic State militants.

Al-Ikhbariya TV on Tuesday broadcast footage from the fence demarcating the U.N. buffer zone between Syrian and Israeli forces inside the Golan Heights.

The camera showed an Israeli observation post 400 meters (440 yards) away.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967. The U.N. deployed a peacekeeping force between the two sides in 1974.

It is the first time government forces have taken up positions along the frontier since an uprising against President Bashar Assad swept through the country in 2011. Islamic State militants later seized territory from rebels along the frontier region.

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