Iran, Hezbollah and the other pro-Syrian regime forces released a joint statement on Saturday, dismissing the reports about an Iranian drone entering Israeli airspace. “The enemy’s claims that the drone entered its airspace are lies,” the statement read. Meanwhile, a senior Iranian official said that his country is capable of “creating a hell for the Zionist regime.”
Watch: Israeli pilot parachutes down after deserting his F-16 that was targeted by Syrian missiles
The pro-Syrian regime coalition, which includes Iran and Hezbollah, released a statement on Saturday afternoon in light of the situation along the Syrian-Israeli border, describing the airstrikes against Iranian and Syrian targets as “Israeli terrorism.”
“Every new Zionist attack will be met with a firm response,” the alliance stated, according to Israel News Company. The pro-Assad forces, however, clarified that they “do not believe that the developments will lead to a regional war.”
Scene of downed Israeli fighter jet
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In the statement, which was published by the Al Mayadeen news network in Lebanon, the coalition also claimed that the drone that was downed by Israel was “being used to collect information on terrorist groups” and that “the enemy’s claims that the drone entered its airspace are lies.”
The remains of the F-16 that crashed early this morning near the Israeli town of Harduf Photo Credit: Anat Hermony/Flash 90
According to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency, the deputy head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps refused to answer questions about the Iranian drone. However, he sent a direct threat to Israel: “Iran is capable of destroying all the American military bases in the region and creating a hell for the Zionist regime.”
The incident began when the Iranian drone took off from the Syrian T-4 Airbase shortly before 4:00 AM on Saturday morning. It infiltrated Israel’s airspace above the southern Golan Heights. Israel’s air defense system spotted the drone as it took off from the airbase and was tracking it when it crossed the border into Israel, which is when the Israeli security establishment decided to down it.
The Israeli Air Force decided to attack the airbase from which the drone took off in response, sending several F-16 fighter jets to carry out the mission. More than 25 surface-to-air missiles were fired at the Israeli planes by the Syrian air defense forces. The pilots of one of the targeted jets parachuted out of their aircraft over Israeli territory. One of them is in critical condition. Both were taken to Haifa’s Rambam Hospital for medical treatment.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit stated that Iran violated Israel’s sovereignty. “Iran is dragging the region to an adventure and it knows how this will end,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit added.