Israel strikes 12 Iranian targets in Syria over downed fighter jet

The army was carrying out attacks against

The army was carrying out attacks against"Iranian targets in Syria after intercepting a drone

"The Syrians are playing with fire when they allow the Iranians to attack Israel from their soil", said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israeli military, in a statement. Gradually this Israeli-rebel nexus has produced what the Israelis call a "safe zone" abutting their occupied territory on the Golan, as Nour Samaha reported for the Intercept last month.

Sergey Lavrov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, said in the statement on Saturday: "We urge all parties involved to exercise restraint and to avoid any actions that could lead to an even greater complication of the situation". Israel is aware of Russia's decisive influence in Syria, and America's absence, which is why Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, maintains close ties with Putin.

Israeli media said the jet crashed in northern Israel.

"Israel is our closest security partner in the region and we fully support Israel's inherent right to defend itself against threats to its territory and its people", said US Defense Department spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway, according to Reuters.

The chain of events on Saturday began at 4.30 a.m. when an Israeli Apache helicopter shot down an Iranian drone over the northern town of Beit Shean, the Israeli military said.

"Over the past four decades, since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the U.S. has gained no significant achievement in the region", he noted.

Tehran has dismissed Tel Aviv's claims concerning an Iranian UAV and a downed Israeli jet as "ridiculous". Israel says it has the Iranian drone in its possession.

More news: Boston Globe investigating into "hoax" Tom Brady holdout column

"We consider it necessary to unconditionally respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other countries of the region", it added.

Israel has been warning of late of the increased Iranian involvement along its border in Syria and Lebanon.

In the autumn of 2015, Israel and Russian Federation agreed to exchange data in order to safeguard their militaries against any accidental engagements during operations in Syria. The official said the Israeli raids hit a base in the country's central area, and called it a "new aggression". The broadcaster said sounds of explosions were heard Saturday in Reef Damascus province, near the capital city.

In Washington, the United States said it "fully supports" Israel's right to defend itself against threats, while in Gaza in the occupied Palestinian territories, the armed wing of Hamas declared full alert among its fighters because of the escalation between Syria and Israel.

"The Israeli enemy has resumed aggression on some military positions in the southern region and our air defenses have responded to them and thwarted the aggression", Syrian military said in a statement.

Many in Israel feared not only that Iran and its allies would entrench themselves near the Israeli border but that Hezbollah had been using the Syrian fighting as a training and that Iran might help the militia upgrade to the use of precision-guided missiles.

Latest News