Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Israel launches heavy Syria strikes after F-16 crashes

Israel launches heavy air strike in Syria after F-16 crash Israel launches heavy Syria strikes after F-16 crashes
Faye Gross | 11 February, 2018, 05:15

Israel said it struck 12 Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria, including Syrian air defence systems.

Israel launched air raids in Syria yesterday after one of its fighter jets crashed while under Syrian anti-aircraft fire.

Iran's involvement in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad in a almost seven-year-old civil war - including the deployment of Iran-backed forces near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights - has alarmed Israel, which has said it would counter any threat.

Sources in Damascus said there were casualties among Syrian forces. The drone was tracked by an Apache helicopter and shot down.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday called for an immediate de-escalation in Syria after Israel carried out airstrikes in the country in retaliation for an Iranian drone that infiltrated its territory from Syria.

Open conflict across the Syrian border is unlikely to be in the interest of either Israel or Iran-aligned forces at the moment.

Taunting the United States, he said they would be better "to leave the region before its defeat".

In a meeting in Moscow last month, Netanyahu reiterated concerns of what he described as attempts by Iran to establish a military presence in Syria and produce weapons against Israel there. They want an accommodation in Syria in which the regime, some of the rebels and Israel will somehow coexist.

As the Israeli planes came under attack, two F-16 pilots chose to eject, and their plane crashed in Israel's Galilee region, Conricus said. Across the border the event was taken as a victory, with dozens of Lebanese celebrating and waving Hezbollah's flag.

Separately, Iran issued a joint statement alongside the other main allies of the Syrian regime - Russian Federation and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah - denying the allegations regarding the drone. "Today's formulas mean the old formulas have fallen".

Gunners sweating player fitness for Tottenham derby clash
Pochettino confirmed that he was anxious about the pitch, which he said "was not in a condition to play football". Pochettino is anxious about his players getting injured but said that he is anxious about Rochdale's players too.


General Salami denied that an Iranian drone shot down by the Israelis was violating Israel's airspace - saying the drone was gathering intelligence on Islamic State.

The statement concludes: "The IDF will act determinately against such severe violations of Israeli sovereignty by Iran and Syria and will continue to act as necessary".

Netanyahu has made a number of visits to Russian Federation, the dominant player in Syria, to lay out Israel's red lines and ask President Vladimir Putin to rein in Iran.

"The Russian side called for any steps, which might trigger a new spiral of unsafe confrontations for all in the region, to be avoided", the Kremlin press service said.

Israeli politicians from across the spectrum largely backed the government's response.

Israel's Ambassador Danny Danon called on the Security Council "to condemn this risky act and to put an immediate end to Iranian provocations".

Eight Israeli aircraft then "targeted the Iranian control systems in Syria that sent the UAV" and confirmed hits, according to Conricus.

During a phone call on Saturday, Putin and Netanyahu discussed the latest developments in Syria, both concurring that interaction between the two countries' militaries would be continued. It said the drones collect information on militant groups, including Islamic State, for the Syrian army, and said the drone was on a routine mission Saturday morning targeting Islamic State remnants.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the first round targeted in the central desert area where Syrian troops and their Iranian-backed allies including Hezbollah are known to maintain bases.

Israel has repeatedly warned in recent weeks against the presence of Iranian forces in neighbouring Syria.

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