Israeli airstrikes in Syria - a 'dialogue by fire'?

Sputnik  Timur Abdullaev      
                                               Joost Hiltermann

It never reported back to base.

Russian Federation provides significant military backing to the Syrian government, and has not expressed concern about Iran's presence in Syria.

Syria's Defense Ministry said in statements on its website that its air defenses responded successfully to the Israeli operation and hit more than one plane.

The IDF stated that IAF aircraft targeted the Syrian Aerial Defense System and Iranian targets in Syria.

Russia, a key player in the conflict and one with a large say over Syrian airspace, also called for Syria's sovereignty to be respected.

Sirens sounded in northern Israel as a result of massive Syrian fire.

Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was now holding an emergency meeting with Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman at the military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

"The latest events come as the Syrian people suffer through one of the most violent periods in almost seven years of conflict".

Israeli officials also attempted to attribute some of the responsibility to Russian technology.

"Iran does not have a military presence in Syria, and has only sent military advisors at the request of the Syrian government", he said.

Meanwhile, commentators on news channels supportive of the Syrian government hailed the downing of the F-16 as a major turning point in its relationship with Israel. The Israeli military said that early assessments showed it was hit by Syrian anti-aircraft fire, but could not immediately confirm that.

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Conricus, the Israel Defense Forces spokesman, confirmed that between 15 and 20 surface-to-air missiles were launched by Syria as Israel launched the second round of attacks.

Israeli observers noted that if there was any good news, it was that the pilots were not forced to eject over Syrian territory, where they could have been captured by Islamic State militias or the Syrian army. And that has shaken Tel Aviv.

Former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told Army Radio that Iran was caught off guard by Israel's actions. Numerous other reports, photographic evidence and the IDF's own video, clearly detail an Iranian drone in Israeli airspace-and Israel's subsequent response.

Hamwi contended that Iran had intentionally sent the drone into Israeli airspace in order to draw Israeli planes into the range of anti-aircraft weaponry stationed at the base where the UAV had taken off from.

More than 330,000 people have been killed in fighting and millions have displaced millions.

The incident started with Israeli shooting down a small drone from the Syrian military research site that they've repeatedly attacked in recent weeks, a site they claim is an "Iranian base". Four de-escalation zones have been set up, covering much of Syria, and are being monitored under an arrangement designed by the three guarantor states. The only parts still to be retaken are Idlib Province, in the northwest, and Ghouta, a suburb of the capital, Damascus.

The Israeli military claimed that it had attacked positions inside the Syrian territory after it intercepted a drone launched from Syria on Saturday.

A military alliance backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that any other incursion by Israel would be met with "serious and fierce" retaliation.

Hezbollah is based in Lebanon, where, too, Israel feels comfortable carrying out nearly daily airspace violations - what the Tel Aviv regime calls "routine reconnaissance missions".

Syrian state media reported that the downing of the aircraft was "a strategic decision of Syria and the axis of resistance to Israel".

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