This supersonic aerial conflict happened mostly over Lebanon and the engagements were in such tight quarters due to the small land mass that the warplanes had to often resort to machine gun/cannon fire as compared to firing missiles. The Syrians lost over 80 aircraft in this faceoff and the joke in Lebanon at the time was that every morning Assad Sr. would personally shake the hands of all his air force pilots lined up by their warcraft and wish them well but he would also inexplicably leave several Syrian pounds in their palms when pulling his hand away. When the pilots asked what the money was for he would answer, "For taxi fare back!"
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