March 24, 2018

'Severe blows' delivered to Syria and Iran, says Israel's Netanyahu

11 February 2018, 05:39 | Taylor George

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"This is a severe attack and a breach of Israeli sovereignty perpetrated by Iran".

Iran denies having conventional armed forces in Syria, reports the wire service.

Iran backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the civil war, supports Shi'ite militias in Iraq, Houthi rebels in Yemen and Lebanon's Hezbollah. The Israeli military said that early assessments showed it was hit by Syrian anti-aircraft fire, but could not immediately confirm that.

"Whoever is responsible for this incident is the one who will pay the price".

Tel Aviv also claimed that the Israeli military had struck 12 more positions inside Syria in response to the downing of the plane.

Israel is aware of Russia's decisive influence in Syria, and America's absence, which is why Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, maintains close ties with Putin.

Israel's United Nations mbassador, Danny Danon, meanwhile, called on the Security Council "to condemn [Iran's] unsafe act and to put an immediate end to Iranian provocations".

"We agreed the security coordination between our armies will continue".

He also vowed that his country would respond strongly to "all further aggression" from Israel.

Israeli media said the jet crashed in northern Israel.

It said the bases are used by both Iranians and Russians deployed in support of the regime.

If Israel became more militarily involved in the conflict, what would it mean for the Syrian war - and the wider region?

A community Facebook page that tracks attacks there reported strikes on military sites near the suburbs of Kiswah and Dimas. Syria has also repeatedly said it will respond to Israeli airstrikes but has rarely returned fire.

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How did events unfold on Saturday morning? It was shot down in the Beit Shean valley, after spending all of 90 seconds in Israel's air space.

The Israeli military says one of its pilots has been seriously wounded as a result of an emergency evacuation from his F-16 jet that came under Syrian fire.

"Israel has carried out dozens of attacks over the past one year, but this is the first time the Syrian military has shot down an Israeli plane", she said. Air raid sirens were triggered in residential areas on Israel's northern border.

The Israeli strikes marked Israel's most serious engagement in neighbouring Syria since fighting there began in 2011.

"This is the beginning of a new strategic era that puts an end to the violation of Syrian airspace and territory", the terror group said in a statement published by Lebanon's ANI news agency.

This puts the post-attack rhetoric in a freakish place, with Syria bragging that they sent a "clear message" in downing the Israeli warplane, and Israel skipping right over Syria in official statements and trying to make it into a war with Iran.

Speaking before his weekly cabinet meeting, he was talking less than 24 hours after the country's military struck key Iranian sites in Syria.

The military says the pilot was evacuated Saturday to a hospital for medical treatment. "We don't think a war is in our interest, not the IDF's and not the State of Israel's interest, and that's why we're not looking to escalate the situation". The United States said it fully backs Israel's right to self-defense, while Russian Federation and the United Nations called on all sides to exercise restraint.

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

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has advisory presence in Syria at the request of the country's legitimate and constitutional government", Qassemi said. Both have sent forces to back Assad, who appears headed toward victory.

Israel has shot down several drones that previously tried to infiltrate its territory from Syria.

Separately, Iran issued a statement with Syria's other main allies - Russian Federation and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah - denying Israel's drone allegations. Among the targets destroyed was he Syrian military's main command and control bunker.

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