Israel launched heavy air strikes in Syria on Saturday, saying it hit air defenses and Iranian targets, and the Syrian military claimed to have introduced down an Israeli F-16 that crashed innorthern Israel in a significant escalation of stress.
The Israeli army mentioned early assessments indicated the jet had been shot down by Syrian hearth, however this was nonetheless unconfirmed.
It marked probably the most severe confrontation but in Syria between Israel and Iranian and Iran-backed forces which have established a significant foothold within the nation whereas combating in assist of President Bashar al-Assad within the civil struggle.
Israel mentioned the F-16 crashed throughout a mission to strike Iranian drone installations in Syria. It mentioned it despatched its jets into Syria after capturing down an Iranian drone over Israeli territory earlier on Saturday.
The army alliance combating in assist of Assad denied any of its drones had entered Israeli air area. In a press release, it mentioned Israel had focused an air base within the Homs desert that’s getting used to fly drones in missions towards Islamic State.
Such “terrorist motion” by Israel could be met with a “extreme and severe response,” it mentioned.
The Israeli army spokesman mentioned Israel didn’t search escalation within the area, calling its motion a “defensive effort triggered by an Iranian act of aggression”.
Iran’s increasing clout throughout Syria’s almost seven-year-long struggle, together with deployments of Iran-backed forces close to the Golan frontier, has raised alarm in Israel, which has mentioned it will act towards any risk from its regional arch-enemy Tehran.
Iranian and Iran-backed Shi’ite forces, together with Lebanon’s Hezbollah, have deployed broadly in assist of Assad. Iran’s army chief warned Israel final October towards breaching Syrian airspace and territory.
Israel’s air pressure has focused Syrian army and Hezbollah targets in Syria on an nearly common foundation, however its assaults on Saturday seemed to be probably the most intense but.
Referring to the downed Israeli F-16, an official within the pro-Assad alliance mentioned a “message” had been delivered to Israel. “I don’t consider issues will develop to a regional struggle,” the official mentioned.