Six days that shook the Middle East

In June 1967, catastrophic brinkmanship between Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Israel – with Moscow manoeuvring behind the scenes – saw local tensions escalate into all-out conflict. Matthew Hughes details day by day how the Six-Day War unfolded...

The crews of Israeli armoured vehicles during the waiting period before the beginning of the Six-Day War. (Photo by David Rubinger/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

The countdown to war

On 7 April 1967, Israeli Mirage warplanes shot down six Syrian air force MiGs in a dogfight over southern Syria, one downed jet falling onto the Syrian capital, Damascus.

This was the latest escalation along Israel’s borders with its Arab neighbours, where there had been cross-border skirmishes ever since Israel’s formation in 1948. The humiliating loss of the Syrian jets would escalate to another Arab-Israeli conflict: the Six-Day War of June 1967.

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