The reported downing of an Israeli F-16 in Syria on February 10 cut short the country’s long-term aerial dominance in the region: that was the first Israeli plane lost in 35 years, since 1982 – the time of the Israeli war in Lebanon.
An agitated Israeli military has reportedly deployed anti-missile systems to the Syrian border, a day after it lost an advanced F-16 warplane in Syria’s first serious air defense operation to confront Israeli violations of its airspace.
The Jerusalem Post on Sunday cited witnesses as saying that they had seen convoys of “missile defense batteries” north-bound near the city of Baka al-Gharbiya. It said others had posted photos of “trucks carrying the batteries on central highways in northern Israel.”
The report said the Israeli army had “refused to comment.”
Early on Saturday morning, reportedly eight Israeli warplanes were deployed to target positions inside Syria. The Syrian military, which has previously absorbed occasional Israeli strikes, activated its air defense systems and shot down at least one Israeli F-16.