Israeli Patriots downed a Syrian Sukhoi fighter 2 km inside Israel on Tuesday. DEBKAfile: The intrusion stemmed from Syria’s insistence on its freedom to fly over the buffer zone (as defined in the 1974 disengagement accord) and Israel’s abstention from raising a challenge to this claim. The incident also accentuated the Israeli-Russian dispute over interpretation of this accord. The IDF statement after the event affirmed Israel’s military vigilance and high state of preparedness for responding to violations of the 1974 accord. But Moscow and Damascus have a different take on their meaning. On July 19, DEBKAfile reported that, in the view of the Assad regime, any Israeli attempt to down Syrian planes over the buffer zone would be deemed an Israeli violation. Syrian aircraft may only be attacked when crossing into Israel air space. Hence the high significance of the account that the Sukhoi downed by an Israel Patriot dropped on Syrian soil.