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USA backs Israel over Syria airstrikes

11 February 2018

The Israeli army announced that the latest escalation began on Friday night when an Iranian drone entered the Israeli airspace after being launched from Syria.

According to Tehran based Press TV, Bahram Qassemi, the spokesman of Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday, "Claims about the flight of an Iranian drone ... are too ridiculous to be addressed because the Islamic Republic of Iran has advisory presence in Syria at the request of the country's legitimate and constitutional government". An Israeli attack helicopter successfully destroyed the Iranian UAV. "Iran is dragging the region into an adventure in which it doesn't know how it will end", the army said in a statement. Gen. Ronen Manelis, said in a statement earlier Saturday.

"I have been warning for some time about the dangers of Iran's military entrenchment in Syria".

But the promised gates of hell did not open, even when Israel attacked Iranian targets on Syrian territory and, according to unverified reports, Iranian military personnel were killed.

Nor, contra to what The Post's language implied, is Israel alone in asserting that an Iranian drone entered Israeli air space. "The offensive marks Israel's most substantial involvement in Syria to date".

"It's unclear to me if Iran is really calling the shots here", said Blumenthal.

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Referring to the downed Israeli F-16, an official in the pro-Assad alliance said a "message" had been delivered to Israel. The Post's claim was part of a problematic and inaccurate caption that accompanied a video that the paper posted online to describe events that transpired in the early morning hours of February 10, 2018.

It appears that the anti-aircraft missile that took down the F-16 was an older model, and it exploded near the plane, it didn't actually hit it. One of the pilots was seriously injured, the IDF said.

In subsequent attacks, Israel struck four additional Iranian positions and eight Syrian sites in Syria.

Israel launched a second wave of strikes in Syria.

He added: "Israel seeks peace, but we will continue to defend ourselves steadfastly against any attack against us or any attempt by Iran to establish itself against us in Syria".

The interception of an Iranian drone that targeted Israel suggests that the chances for a war between Israel and Iran-led forces, the first Israel-Shia war, have increased, General (ret.) Amos Yadlin, the former head of Israel's military intelligence told a conference call on Saturday.

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Another sign that today's incident was not happenstance is the statement by Hezbollah, Iran's Lebanese arm, which chose to respond with aggressive language: "The shooting down of the plane is the beginning of a new strategic stage that will restrict Israel's exploitation of Syrian airspace".

The Israeli military said early assessments indicated the jet had been shot down by Syrian fire, but this was still unconfirmed.

In the autumn of 2015, Israel and Russian Federation agreed to exchange data in order to safeguard their militaries against any accidental engagements during operations in Syria.

Conricus said it was intercepted well inside Israeli territory over the city of Beit Shean, near the Jordanian border. He said that while Israel had no interest in further escalation it was prepared to "extract a heavy price" for such aggression.

It is believed to be the first time Israel has lost an aircraft in the conflict.

"The creation of any threat to the lives and safety of Russian military servicemen now in Syria on the invitation of its lawful government to help fight terrorists is absolutely unacceptable", the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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USA backs Israel over Syria airstrikes