Israeli Military Officials Said to View Syria Strikes as ‘Sweet Revenge’ for February Downing of IAF F-16
Israeli military officials on Thursday called the previous night’s strikes in Syria “sweet revenge” for the downing of an IAF fighter jet earlier this year, the Hebrew news site Walla reported.
Among the targets overnight were Syrian aerial defense systems — of the SA-2, SA-5, SA-17 and SA-22 varieties, all Russian-made.
According to the Walla report, these systems were not on the initial target list, but were hit after they threatened IAF planes striking Iranian targets in Syria in response to an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-orchestrated Fajr-5 missile attack on the Golan Heights earlier in the night.
The Walla report said the blow dealt to Syria’s aerial defense network provided a feeling of “closure” to military officials three months after a SA-5 battery shot down an IAF F-16 over northern Israel — the first loss of an IAF plane to enemy fire since 1982.
In that Feb. 10 incident, the pilot and navigator ejected safely, but the plane was destroyed when it impacted the ground near Kibbutz Harduf.