[Photo Source: IDF Spokesperson]
Early this past Saturday morning, an Israeli Air Force (IAF) attack helicopter discovered an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operating in Israeli airspace, which the IAF promptly destroyed. After discovering the UAV, the IAF attacked a number of military installations in Syria, including 3 aerial defense batteries and 4 Iranian military targets.
Brigadier General Amnon Ein Dar on the Israeli Air Force's operational activity yesterday pic.twitter.com/7XnWoIzLdG
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) February 11, 2018
During the attack, a number of anti-aircraft rockets were fired at the IAF resulting in one of the Israeli F16 fighter jets being hit. The pilots ejected from their aircraft, landed in Israeli territory. The pilots were injured, one critically. (The latest reports are that the pilot has been upgraded to stable condition.) Later in the morning, the IAF flew back into Syria to disable and destroy the Syrian air-defense array, in addition to Iranian targets in Syria. In the process of the IAF attack, a number of anti-aircraft missiles were shot at the IAF planes. The Syrian missiles triggered the sirens in northern Israel in the early hours of the Sabbath there. Thankfully, there were no casualties among Israeli citizens during the IAF raid on the Syrian targets.The recent infiltration of Iranian aggression against Israel is something that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been speaking about since he has become Prime Minister. In 2015, Netanyahu addressed the United States Congress in an attempt to sway the US government from endorsing the “bad deal” – a reference to the non-proliferation treaty between global powers and Iran.
This past year, Netanyahu warned the international community of a void that was created in Lebanon with the resignation of then Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Hariri himself cited Iran’s and Hezbollah’s political over-extension in the Middle East region and fears of assassination as reasons behind his resignation.
In the past few months, Israel has carried out airstrikes against targets in Syria, many of which were believed to be arms and arms shipments that originated in Iran and were intended to be transported to Lebanon.
More recently, the Prime Minister and other government officials have been warning world leaders of the dangers that Iran presents the world with regard to their influence on Israel’s neighbors – most notably Lebanon and Syria. This past month, in a highly unusual move, IDF Spokesman Brigadier General Ronen Manelis warned in an op-ed on a Lebanese opposition website that a war with Israel could break out if Iran develops precision missiles in the country.
“Lebanon has become – both by its own actions and omissions and by a blind eye from many members of the international community – one large missile factory,” Manelis wrote on the Ahewar website.
In an official response to the latest Iranian aggression against Israel, the Prime Minister made the statement below.
I have been warning for some time about the dangers of Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria. Iran seeks to use Syrian territory to attack Israel for its professed goal of destroying Israel. This morning Iran brazenly violated Israel’s sovereignty. They dispatched an Iranian drone from Syrian territory into Israel. And this demonstrates that our warnings were 100% correct. Israel holds Iran and its Syrian hosts responsible for today’s aggression. We will continue to do whatever is necessary to protect our sovereignty and our security.
Posted by Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו on Saturday, February 10, 2018