At 8:57 on Tuesday morning, shortly after a Syrian Sukhoi-24 penetrated a half-mile into Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights, the Israel Air Force shot the fighter jet out of the sky. The entire affair, from the moment the decision was made until the two pilots ejected over Syrian soil, took one minute, the IAF said Tuesday.
Its ability to do damage to Israeli sites, and a sort of firm pedagogical approach to the defense of Israel’s borders, led to the decision to shoot down the Syrian jet with a Patriot surface-to-air missile, even though it seemed quite clear that the plane was not streaking toward Tiberias or Tel Aviv.
“We can’t tolerate any sort of violations of Israeli airspace,” said Brig. Gen. (res) Ramm Shmueli, a former head of the IAF’s intelligence wing, in a conference call. The jet, he said, would have been over Israel proper “in 10-20 seconds.” It was potentially one minute from the Sea of Galilee and four minutes from Tel Aviv. Read more at The Times of Israel.