Israel military shoots down Syrian aircraft

Israeli soldier secure the area were a mortar fired from the Quneitra province after Syrian rebels clashed with President Bashar Assad’s forces hit in a community in the Israeli controlled Golan Heights, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. Syrian rebels, including fighters from an al-Qaida-linked group, seized control of a frontier crossing with Israel in the Golan Heights on Wednesday after heavy clashes with President Bashar Assad’s forces, activists and rebels said. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says it has shot down a Syrian aircraft that infiltrated its airspace over the Golan Heights.

The military says a “Syrian aircraft infiltrated into Israeli air space” on Tuesday morning. It says the military “intercepted the aircraft in mid-flight, using the Patriot air defense system.”

The military wouldn’t say what type of aircraft was downed and says the circumstances of the incident are “unclear.”

A defense official identified the plane as a Syrian MIG fighter jet. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Israel has largely stayed on the sidelines of Syria’s civil war raging across the border. But Israeli leaders appear increasingly nervous about the possibility of al-Qaida-linked fighters occupying the Golan’s high ground over northern Israel.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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