According to top Israeli defense officials, Iran is determined to establish itself in Syria, a development that Israel has vowed to prevent on numerous occasions. Therefore, even though the recent tensions between Israel and Syria have apparently deescalated, they are warning that the next military clash with the Iranian forces in the Arab country is inevitable.
The remains of the Iranian drone Photo Credit: Twitter screenshot/IDF spokesperson
While it appears that the recent military tensions in northern Israel and Syria have deescalated, senior Israeli defense officials are warning that the next military clash with Tehran and Damascus is inevitable, several Israeli media outlets reported Monday.
A senior official stated this evening that “according to estimates, which are based, among other things, on the statements made by senior Iranian regime officials in the last 24 hours, Iran is determined to continue its attempts to entrench itself in Syria,” according to Israel’s Arutz 7. He also clarified that if Iran attempts to challenge Israel again, the IDF’s response will be even more forceful.
Meanwhile, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit released a summary of the events that took place yesterday in northern Israel and Syria. The tensions began to rise after an Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace early Saturday morning. “The UAV was detected long before crossing Israeli territory,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, Head of the International Branch in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
The drone was shot down by an Israeli attack helicopter. In response, Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked the control vehicle from which the drone was operated in the Syrian T-4 Airbase near Palmyra.
Lt. Col. L, Commander of the “Wasp” (113) Squadron, the pilot who intercepted the Iranian UAV: “The squadron is ready and prepared for any task required of it.” pic.twitter.com/SqyOwrtIoA
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) February 11, 2018
The Israeli fighter jets were targeted by Syrian air defense forces, which fired over 25 anti-aircraft missiles at them. One of the fighter jets, an F-16I, was hit by the Syrian fire. The pilots ejected from the aircraft and parachuted down into Israeli territory. The fighter jet crashed and exploded near Kibbutz Harduf.
In response to the attack on the aircraft, the IAF launched a major strike on multiple Iranian and Syrian targets. Senior IAF commander Brig. Gen. Amnon Ein Dar stated that this was “the biggest and most significant attack the air force has carried out against Syrian air defenses since 1982.”
“Yesterday we dealt severe blows to the Iranian and Syrian forces,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the beginning of this week’s government meeting. “We made it unequivocally clear to everyone that our rules of action have not changed one bit; we will continue to strike at every attempt to strike at us. This has been our policy and it will remain our policy.”