Cpt. Or Na’aman, commander of the Patriot battery of the 138th battalion, also commanded interception of Syrian drone two weeks ago. Wednesday, 25 2018. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
BY ANNA AHRONHEIM
Captain Or Na’aman commanded the Patriot battery which shot down a Syrian fighter jet over Israel’s northern Golan Heights on Tuesday, the IDF has confirmed to The Jerusalem Post.
As the commander of the Air Force’s 138th Battalion’s Patriot battery, Na’aman was also in charge of the interception of a Syrian drone which fell south of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) almost two weeks to the day after the downing of the jet.
The Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet was intercepted Tuesday by two Patriot missiles launched from Safed after it penetrated two kilometers into Israeli airspace. The pilot, identified as Colonel Umran Mare of the Syrian coastal city of Tartus, was confirmed to have been killed.
Israel says it shot down the jet after it entered Israeli airspace from the Golan Heights border.
While it is now believed that the pilot likely made a navigation error, the incident is still considered by Jerusalem as a serious breach of Israeli sovereignty.
Syria confirmed that the plane, which was taking part in an offensive against Islamic State fighters in the Yarmouk Basin, was downed by Israel – but Damascus has denied that it crossed into Israeli airspace.
According to a report by the Ynet news site, Russian officials protested the downing of the jet claiming that it had not breached Israeli airspace.
Israel then presented clear radar images which “unequivocally” proved that the Syrian jet had flown into Israel.
On Tuesday a Lebanese news site quoted a Syrian military officer as saying that Damascus has no intention of rushing into a war with Israel after the downing of the jet but that “the response… will come soon enough.”
“You will not have to wait long for a response, but we’ll get there in a few steps. First, we need to finish all the ongoing military operations in the country. The direct response to the Israeli forces will come at an appropriate time.
The final step will be thwarting any attempts to remove the Syrian allies from the region,” he was quoted by the El Nashra news site as saying.
“In Tel Aviv they are aware that the situation that existed before the civil war is different from what will be after. It must be careful not to light the kind of fire that it will not be able to extinguish later. Israel shot down the plane knowing it was a Syrian plane in Syrian airspace,” the source added.
Acting charge d’ affairs of Syria’s permanent delegation to the UN Munzer Munzer said Tuesday that Damascus had informed the UN Security Council that Israel has given “unlimited support” to terror organizations in southern Syria and has carried out “repeated military direct aggression” in the war-torn country.
Syria, he was quoted by the SANA news agency as saying, would not negotiate or relinquish its rights to the Golan Heights until “our occupied territory is fully restored.”