By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
A Russian jet fighter wandered into Israeli airspace ... but it was not shot down. There are several reasons for that.
As I have mentioned, there are 14 separate air forces operating over Syria and there are bound to be mistakes. In this case the Russian jet flew 1.5 kilometers, or about 1 mile, into Israeli airspace and then quickly turned around.
The main reason the plane was not shot down is communication. Israel informed Russia and the Russians told their pilot to turn about.
Communication between Russia and Israel is at the highest operational level. Heads of both air forces met in Tel Aviv to discuss procedures and agreed to inform one another in advance of when they would be operating.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said: "Russian planes don't intend to attack us and therefore there is no need to automatically, even if there is some kind of mistake, shoot them down."
There have been several Israeli strikes in to Syria and several Russian strikes that hit very close to Israel but they have not become "incidents."
Israel tracks and watches everything that happens in Syria. They monitor the land, sea and air. All this is done to both insure Israel's safety and to gauge the pulse and movement of the conflict within Syria.
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