Published: Sun, February 11, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Israel will not allow Iran 'entrenchment' in Syria: PM

Israel will not allow Iran 'entrenchment' in Syria: PM

The Prime Minister said Israel would do so again if necessary.

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. "This has been our policy and it will remain our policy".

On February 9, Israel said antiaircraft fire downed one of its F-16 fighter jets returning from a bombing raid on Iran-backed positions in Syria.

The military says the pilots abandoned the aircraft and were safe. One of the airmen was severely injured, while the second was lightly wounded.

Earlier on Saturday, Israeli army shot down an Iranian drone launched from Syria and struck a number of Iranian targets in the war-torn country, according to the Israeli military. We will respond to any attempt to violate our sovereignty.

A crucial factor Netanyahu did not mention was the fact that Russian Federation supports Israel's enemies in this conflict, and that the U.S. at this point is a dubious ally against Moscow.

Netanyahu also said he spoke with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Syrian state TV quoted a military official saying Syrian air defenses hit more than one Israeli plane. Syrian state news agency claimed one more jet was shot down but the IDF denied the claim.

Throughout the course of Syria's civil war, Israel has carried out a number of raids over the border against alleged Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah. Second, it developed a strategic understanding with Russian Federation to obtain its cooperation in reigning in Iranian influence in the western part of Syria.

Netanyahu reportedly said that he told Putin that it is "our right and duty to defend ourselves against attacks from Syria".

"The Secretary-General is following closely the alarming military escalation throughout Syria and the risky spillover across its borders".

The F-16 fighter was on a mission to strike Iranian drone installations in Syria, where Iranian and Iran-backed forces have established a major foothold while fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

A Pentagon spokesman said the United States fully supported Israel's right to defend itself, and a State Department spokeswoman said the United States is "deeply concerned" about the "escalation of violence over Israel's border".

In an official statement, Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based militia and a close Iranian ally, announced that the downing of the Israeli jet represents "the start of a new strategic era". "We agreed that security coordination between our countries will continue". And shortly afterwards, the Israeli military was collecting its charred remains in northern Israel. Both have sent forces to back Assad, who appears headed toward victory after years of fighting. But Russia also maintains cordial ties with Israel. "I think it's good that our enemies learn and understand these capabilities".

"The Syrians are playing with fire when..."

Shlomo Mishal, 55, from Beit Shean in northern Israel, said that he was woken by the sirens at around 4:30 a.m.

The last time Israel lost a combat plane to enemy fire was in the 1982 Lebanon war, the military has said.

As the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) noted, the IDF intercepted an Iranian made unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) after it entered Israeli airspace from Syria. An F-16 was shot down by Syria's air defenses during the incursion. "We struck the [anti-aircraft missile] batteries and additional Iranian targets in Syria".

In response, the Israeli Air Force quickly conducted a series of reprisal strikes in Syria.

"We are ready to exact a very heavy price towards anyone who acts against us, but our intentions are not towards an escalation", Manelis said. "Israel holds Iran and its Syrian host responsible for today's aggression".

The Russian Foreign Ministry chastised Israel, warning that it is "absolutely unacceptable to create threats to the lives and security of Russian servicemen".

Tensions between Israel and Syria have escalated in recent months.

The Eurasia Group, a New York-based political risk consultancy, said in a commentary that "in order to reinforce deterrence, Israeli leaders will probably assess they need to show Iran, Hezbollah and Syria they will continue to strike targets despite the risk".

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