Tensions escalated when the Israeli military shot down an Iranian drone who they suspect infiltrated Israel early Saturday before launching an attack on dozens of Iranian targets in Syria, Reuters reported.

Israel, upon discovering the drone hovering over their territory, shot it down and sent warplanes to Syria on a mission to strike Iranian drone installations in the region. The Syrian army shot down an F-16 jet.

The jet came under fire from Iranian forces, however, it is unclear why the jet crashed, Reuters reported.

“Twelve targets, including three aerial defence batteries and four Iranian targets that are part of Iran’s military establishment in Syria were attacked,” the Israeli military said in a statement.

“During the attack, anti-aircraft missiles were fired towards Israel, triggering alarms that were heard in Northern Israel,” the military said.

The Israeli  military called the suspected drone infiltration by Iran a "severe and irregular violation of Israeli sovereignty" and added that Iran will be held responsible for escalating tensions along the northern border.

"This is a serious Iranian attack on Israeli territory. Iran is dragging the region into an adventure in which it doesn't know how it will end," Israel's chief military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, said in a special statement. "Whoever is responsible for this incident is the one who will pay the price."

Israel said they have the Iranian drone in possession. The Israeli military said the F-16 jet crashed in northern Israel while facing massive anti-aircraft fire from Syria where the Iranians have established a major foothold fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad. The crash propelled two pilots to abandon the jet.

Israeli Air Force chief David Ivry told Reuters it was the first time an Israeli F-16 was brought down since Israel began using the jets in the 1980s.

Syria Damaged cars are seen at one of the blast sites in Damascus after a series of car bomb explosions in Syria, July 2, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said: “We don’t know if the pilots ejected because of the [Syrian] fire,”

“But it is of extreme concern to us if they were shot down,” he added.

Iranian and Iran backed Shite forces including the Lebanon’s Hezbollah have expressed their support for president Assad in Syria. Israel fears that their increased involvement in Syrian territory could lead to attacks and pave the way for easy weapons transfer to the Hezbollah from Iran to Lebanon.

The Syrian military reported two separate military attacks. The first one they said involved the Syrian military opening fire against an Israeli act of "aggression" on a military base, hitting “more than one plane.”

Later, state media said Syrian air defenses retaliated and thwarted another Israeli attack in southern Syria.