IDF Probe: F-16 May Have Been Downed by Shrapnel

Israeli security stands around the wreckage of an F-16 that crashed in northern Israel, near kibbutz of Harduf, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. The Israeli military shot down an Iranian drone it said infiltrated the country early Saturday before launching a "large-scale attack" on at least a dozen Iranian and Syrian …
AP/Rami Slush

The Times of Israel reports: An initial Israeli Air Force investigation indicated that Saturday’s F-16 fighter jet crash was caused by explosion of an anti-aircraft missile next to the plane, but not necessarily from a direct hit, the army said.

An army spokesperson stressed that the investigation into the crash is ongoing, but said that the current assessment is that the missile brought down the F-16, known in Israel as a Sufa. “Even if it was just hit by fragments, that’s still because of the missile,” the army spokesperson said on Sunday.

If the plane were in fact shot down by enemy fire, it could mark the first such instance for Israel since 1982 during the First Lebanon War. At approximately 4:25 a.m. on Saturday, an Iranian drone from Syria entered Israeli territory from Jordan and was shot down by an Apache attack helicopter near the northern Israeli city of Beit Shean, the army said.

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