TEL AVIV – 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 Syrian pilots.
The clip shows the Syrian jet engulfed in flames after it crashed while shouts of “Allahu Akbar” are heard in the background.
A Syrian regime official said Tuesday that the body of the pilot, Col. Amran Mara’e, was seized by IS, the Russian Sputnik outlet reported. The fate of the other pilot is unknown.
However, Israeli reports said there was only one pilot.
A non-Syrian source told Reuters the plane crashed in a pocket of land in Syria’s southwest still held by Islamic State rebels.
The Russian-made Sukhoi plane was being monitored by the IDF when it flew some two kilometers (1.2 miles) into Israeli airspace. Israel’s air defense shot it down with a pair of Patriot missiles and it landed on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, the military said.
Syria contradicted the report and said the jet was downed in its own airspace while Israel conducted strikes in southern Syria.
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.
On Wednesday afternoon, code red sirens sounded throughout Israel’s Golan Heights.