Febrero 24, 2018

Opposition Platform: Israeli Airstrikes Attempt to Prevent Syria From Settlement

11 Febrero 2018, 09:21 | Crisanna Felipe

F-16 fighter jet Flash 90

F-16 fighter jet

The confrontation was the most serious between arch foes Israel and Iran since the start of the civil war in Syria in 2011.

According to the IDF, in the retaliatory strikes, the Israeli aircraft targeted at least a dozen sites in Syria, including multiple air defense batteries and four Iranian positions in the country.

A picture taken on February 10, 2018 shows the remains of an Israeli F-16 that was shot down by Syrian air defense during attacks in Syria. "We didn't know what was happening, we heard helicopters and planes", said Yosi Sherer, 51, who was staying at a hostel in Beit Shean. "This has been our policy and it will remain our policy".

Later on Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a meeting with his military chiefs. Tehran denies it is doing so. "We do not confirm any such news from Israel", he said.

On Wednesday, Israeli fighter jets launched attacks on military targets on the outskirts of Damascus, most of which was rejected by Syrian anti-aircraft fire, triggering air raid sirens in the Golan Heights and upper Galilee, warning residents of potential rocket strikes.

Israel has long maintained air superiority in the region, mounting air strikes in Syria on a regular basis, targeting suspected weapons shipments to Hezbollah.

"I think this incident is more likely to be contained because fundamentally it is a gradual attempt to renegotiate the so-called rules of the game", Zalzberg said, adding that Russian Federation should mediate.

Neighboring Lebanon said it will file a complaint with the United Nations Security Council over Israel's use of its airspace to launch attacks on Syria.

In a further indication of regional volatility, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Saturday that one of his army's helicopters was shot down in Syria during a mission against USA -backed Kurdish forces. He said the conclusion was made from an analysis of the drone's debris.

Separately, Iran issued a statement with Syria's other main allies - Russian Federation and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah - denying Israel's drone allegations.

Which came to naught when the Syrian air defense comfortably acquired a radar lock on the Israeli F-16 (reportedly known in Israel as Sufa) and sent it down in flames and smoke.

The pilots ejected and the plane crashed inside Israel . One of the pilots was seriously injured, the IDF said.

The attacks and counterattacks also mark the first time since 1982 that Israel and Syria have engaged in direct combat.

The White House came out in strong support of Israel, warning Iran to cease its provocative actions. Hezbollah media have been citing senior Syrian officials who have threatened that "the time of Israeli flights over Syria is over", but the official responses are much more muted, and even somewhat lachrymose, over the fact that Israel has disrupted media broadcasts in Syria.

The Trump administration has come out in strong support of the Israeli action against Iranian targets in Syria, saying the USA backs its "staunch" ally's right to "defend" itself.

Russian Federation stressed the need to "avoid any measure that could lead to a risky escalation".

In a statement, the ministry said "of particular concern is the danger of escalation of tension within and around de-escalation zones in Syria, the creation of which has become an important factor in reducing violence on Syrian soil".

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