World Israel warns Iran over Syria as tensions mount after downing of Israeli jet

00:51  12 february  2018
00:51  12 february  2018 Source:   dw.com

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned against attempts to attack Israel on Sunday as tensions with Syria and Iran escalated following the downing of an Israeli warplane by Syrian aerial defences on Saturday.

An Israeli F-16 fighter jet was downed after Syria responded with anti-aircraft fire to an Israeli operation inside its territory, an incident which has the potential to escalate into all out war.

  Israel warns Iran over Syria as tensions mount after downing of Israeli jet © Getty Images/AFP/J. Guez

Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday that Israel would continue to target Iranian-backed forces inside Syria. His comments come amid rising tensions a day after an Israeli F-16 fighter jet crashed under fire.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel would continue its military strikes in Syria despite the downing of its most advanced fighter jet a day earlier.

Syrian anti-aircraft fire downed an Israeli F-16 — the first such downing of an Israeli fighter jet in 36 years — as it returned to Israel from a bombing raid on Iranian-backed positions inside Syria. The raids came after Israel shot down an Iranian drone it said violated Isreali airspace through Syria. Teheran denies the charge.

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Iran ’s military chief warned Israel last October against breaching Syrian airspace and territory. Netanyahu, visiting the Golan on Tuesday, peered across the border into Syria and An official in the pro-Assad alliance said after the downing of the F-16 that a “message” had been delivered to Israel .

entered Israeli airspace were a "lie", adding Israel would witness a "severe and serious" response to its "terrorism" from now on."Reports of downing an Iranian drone flying over Israel and also Iran 's involvement in attacking an Israeli jet are so ridiculous . Iran only provides military advice to Syria

Iran has been backing forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the seven-year war in Syria.

Netanyahu defended Israel's military action in strident terms during his cabinet meeting on Sunday.

"Yesterday, we landed hard blows on the forces of Iran and Syria," he said. "We made unequivocally clear to everyone that our modus operandi has not changed one bit."

Israel, however, also indicated it does not want to deepen the conflict that has claimed some 400,000 lives. But Israel is concerned about the presence of Iranian backed forces near the Golan Heights, which is occupied by Israel.

Israeli warplane crashes amid cross-border escalation with Syria

  Israeli warplane crashes amid cross-border escalation with Syria An Israeli jet has been downed by Syrian anti-air fire after Israel intercepted an Iranian drone launched from Syria. The incident is one of the most serious involving Israel, Iran and Syria amid the Syrian civil war. Israel planes on Saturday carried out attacks on "Iranian targets" in Syria after intercepting a drone, with one F16 fighter downed by heavy anti-aircraft counter fire, a military spokesman said.

Iran ’s military chief warned Israel last October against breaching Syrian airspace and territory. Tensions also have spiked across the frontier between Israel and Lebanon over Israeli plans for a border wall, and Lebanese Israel shoots down Iranian drone, strikes Iranian targets in Syria – army.

[ February 10, 2018 ] Israel Launches “Large Scale Attack” On Syria After Israeli Jet Shot Down News. Iran has vowed to ‘obliterate’ Israel after the Israeli military retaliated to one of its fighter jets being shot down by Syrian forces.

Israel remains technically at war with Syria. Its occupation of a swathe of the Golan Heights, which it seized during the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed, has never been recognized by the international community.

Fears of escalation

Israel said it destroyed three Syrian anti-aircraft batteries and four targets "that are part of Iran's military establishment" in Syria during Saturday's raids.

"This is the broadest attack on Syria's defense systems since [Operation] Peace for the Galilee," Brigadier-General Amnon Ein Dar told Army Radio, referring to Israel's 1982 Lebanon offensive, in which it battled Syrian forces.

In a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, Netanyahu affirmed Israel's right to defend itself but vowed to continue cooperating with the Kremlin to avoid accidental clashes with Russian troops in Syria.

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Israel said it had sent its jets into Syria after shooting down an Iranian drone flying over Israeli territory earlier on Saturday. Israel said its warplanes came under fire in Syria , though it was still unclear why the jet had come down .

Israel launched air strikes against air defences and Iranian targets in Syria after the Syrian army claimed to have hit an Israeli F-16 jet . The wreckage of a jet on fire near Harduf, northern Israel . Photo: Yehunda Pinto/AP. Iran 's expanding clout during the Syrian civil war, including deployments of

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitor, said at least six people were killed by Israel's initial strikes on Saturday. The Syrian government has yet to offer a death-toll.

Netanyahu's government has also accused Iran of planning to build precision-guided missile factories in Lebanon.

Both Washington, Israel's strongest ally, and Moscow, which has backed Assad throughout the Syrian war, have voiced concern over the weekend clashes.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson starts a five-day trip the region on Sunday, beginning in Jordan. His travels will take him to Turkey, Lebanon and Kuwait, which a State Department official would involve "tough conversations."

The Eurasia Group, a New York-based political risk consulting firm, said, "In order to reinforce deterrence, Israeli leaders will probably assess they need to show Iran, Hezbollah and Syria they will continue to strike targets despite the risk."

"[But] in a fog of war environment, another incident can easily drag the relevant parties toward a regional conflict," it added.

Russia to U.S.: Don’t ‘play with fire’ in Syria .
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issued a stark warning to the U.S. on Monday for its support of the Kurds in Syria, saying Washington should not "play with fire" in the region."The U.S. should stop playing very dangerous games which could lead to the dismemberment of the Syrian state," Lavrov said at a Middle East Conference in Moscow on Monday, according to Bloomberg.

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