TEL AVIV – The IDF on Wednesday identified Captain Or Na’aman as commanding the Patriot missile battery that downed a Syrian fighter jet the day before and said she was also the soldier responsible for intercepting a Syrian drone that infiltrated Israeli airspace earlier this month.
Na’aman is commander of the Patriot Battery of the 138th Battalion, which sent a pair of Patriot missiles to down the Russian-made Sukhoi plane when it flew some two kilometers (1.2 miles) into Israeli airspace.
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Syria contradicted the report and said the jet was downed in its own airspace while Israel conducted strikes in southern Syria.
On Wednesday afternoon, code red sirens sounded throughout Israel’s Golan Heights. Two mortar shells from Syria, which the army said was spillover from fighting near the border, landed in the Sea of Galilee, the army said.
The jet took off from the T-4 airbase near Homs, the IDF said. The airbase has been targeted at least twice in the recent past by Israel and has been used as a command center for Iran’s drone operations.
On Tuesday, Assad forces reached the border fence, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to slam the breach of Israeli territory as a “blatant violation” of the 1974 agreement that established a UN peacekeeping buffer zone between Israel and Syria.
“Our air defense systems identified a Syrian Air Force jet that took off from the T-4 Syrian Air Force base and penetrated Israeli airspace,” Netanyahu said.
“I have reiterated and made clear that we will not accept any such violation. We will not accept any such penetration of or spillover into our territory, neither on the ground nor from the air,” he added.
The Islamic State released footage on Wednesday allegedly showing the Syrian fighter jet shot down by Israel. According to Syrian officials, IS fighters captured the body of one of the pilots.