Tension along Israel's northern border increased in the course of 1981 following the lobbing of Katyusha rockets at Israeli settlements by terror organizations in South Lebanon
A ceasefire declared in July 1981 was broken: the terrorists continued to carry out attacks against Israeli targets in Israel and abroad, and the threat to the northern settlements became unbearable. On June 3rd 1982 terrorists shot Shlomo Argov, Israel's Ambassador to Britain. Three days later, on June 6th 1982 the first Lebanon war broke out.
The IAF's most stunning achievement in the war was the destruction of the Syrian SAM array in the Lebanese Beka'a Valley, within a matter of hours. This operation was accompanied by a massive air battle, in which 25 Syrian planes - most of them MiG-23s - were shot down. The Syrian air defense was effectively nonexistent from that day on.
Israel's jets gave close air support to the ground forces, attacking transportation routes, outposts and armor. Transports and heavy helicopters transported troops and supplies to the war zones. Assault helicopters evacuated casualties in hundreds of sorties. AA units joined the ground forces, and their guns were used as artillery against ground targets.
About 100 Syrian planes were shot down in the course of the war: 80 in dogfights and the rest with AA fire and other means. Not a single Israeli plane was shot down in the course of the war