By Bijan Razzaghi
A Syrian Su-24 was shot down by and Israeli Defense Force Patriot missile after the aircraft was detected flying at high speed towards Israel’s border. The Su-24 is Syria’s primary ground attack being able to deploy a combination of guided Kh-25 air to surface missile’s and unguided bombs. The Su-24 along with the Su-22 form the backbone of Syria’s air to ground fleet. The aircraft is the second Syrian warplane to get shot down by Israeli Air Defense’s in the last 4 years.
The Israeli Syrian border has a been a major flashpoint in the past year is Syrian, IRGC, and Hezbollah forces have regularly clashed with IDF forces. The most recent engagement was when and unidentified UAV attempted to enter Israeli airspace. The recent shoot down could signal the possibility of more border clashes along the Israeli Syrian border between Syrian and IRGC forces.
In many cases Israel as opted to deploy aircraft to intercept incoming aircraft in an effort to visually identify them, this was done when AH-64Ds engaged an IRGC UAV in February. Unlike the UAV the Su-24 was identifiable. It is unknown if the aircraft deliberately flew into Israeli airspace.