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DEVELOPING: Israel intercepts Iranian drone, attacks Iranian base in Syria, F-16 downed over Israel

DEVELOPING: Israel intercepts Iranian drone, attacks Iranian base in Syria, F-16 downed over Israel

Israel launches attacks on Syrian air defenses and Iranian positions in retaliation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0Jt_Vy4Mj0

Overnight there was an exchange of fire between Israel and the Syrian/Iranian regime.

It started when an Iranian drone, launched from central Syria near Homs, crossed into Israeli airspace and was brought down by an Israeli attack helicopter.

Israel then retaliated with an attack on the control building that launched and controlled the drone, reportedly killing the Iranians stationed there. Syria launched an intensive surface-to-air missile (SAM) barrage, reportedly the Russian-made S200 missiles, that brought down an Israeli F-16 over Israeli territory. Both pilots ejected and are in the hospital in Israel, one reportedly in serious condition.

The pilots apparently ejected once the missile had “locked” on the plane:

The pilots of one of the Israeli F16s recognized that one missile had locked onto their aircraft and the two pilots ejected from the jet, which crashed in the lower Galilee.

This video, released by the IDF, shows the takedown of the drone and the destruction of the Iranian command post:

Haaretz reports on the counter-attack against Syrian and Iranian positions:

Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar, second in command of Israel’s Air Force, said Saturday that the Israeli strike in Syria Saturday morning – after an Israeli F-16 was shot down – was “the biggest and most significant attack the air force has conducted againt Syrian air defenses” since the 1982 Lebanon War.

The Israeli military said it has struck 12 targets in Syria, which included four Syrian air-defense battaries and four Iranian sites after the F-16I crashed. The fighter jet was one of the planes sent to attack in Syria in response to the drone incursion earlier on Saturday.

Bar also said the Iranian drone that was shot down by an Israeli helicopter was an advanced model with a low signature, and was captured. “It is a significant achievement to have such an advanced drone,” he said, “and the first time we managed to put our hands on one.”

The Iranian provocation may have been a set-up, figuring there would be some Israeli response, and the SAM missiles were ready to fire what reportedly was the largest SAM barrage since 1982.

The incident appears to be part of Iran’s strategy to stop Israeli attacks on missile and other facilities, which have taken place several dozen times in recent years to try to prevent Syria from acquiring nuclear weapons and Iran passing along ‘game-changing’ weapons to Hezbollah.

The Jerusalem Post reports on Hezbollah’s claim there are new ground rules:

Lebanon’s Hezbollah said on Saturday that the downing of an Israeli F-16 jet by Syrian forces marks a “new strategic phase” that the group says will limit “Israeli exploitation” of Syrian airspace.

“Today’s developments mean the old equations have categorically ended,” the heavily-armed Shi’ite Muslim movement said in a statement. Hezbollah is part of a military alliance supporting President Bashar Assad.

Iran sang the same tune:

A spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said the Syrian response was “a clear warning to Israel. The era of Israeli strikes on Syria is over.” He vowed a “relentless response” to “all further aggression.”

Peter Lerner, former IDF Spokesperson, observed these significant elements:

1. First direct Iranian operation against Israel.
2. Iran and its proxies are preparing the battlefield of a future war.
3. Iranians in Syria means there are plenty targets for the IDF, the counter strike shows that Israel has operable intelligence.

Chemi Shalev points out that the image of the Israeli downed plane is a huge public relations victory for the Iranians:

No matter how severe the damage that the Israel Air Force is inflicting on Iranian installation and Syrian air defenses, the searing image of the day is that of the remains of the F-16I fighter, which crashed near Kibbutz Harduf in the Lower Galilee. If initial reports that the $50 million jet was brought down by an anti-aircraft missile are borne out, it would mark the first successful Syrian interception of an Israeli fighter since the 1982 Lebanon War. Given the near-invincibility of Israeli jet fighters in scores of sorties carried out in Syria and Lebanon in recent years, the images of the downed Israeli aircraft are bound to be portrayed as a historic Syrian victory over Zionist forces. It goes without saying that the situation would have been a hundred times worse had the pilots ejected over Syrian territory and taken prisoner by local forces.

This all has to be viewed as part of the increasing Iranian efforts to move their troops and proxies right up to the Israeli-Syrian border, to set the stage for future attacks. Iran’s proxy Hezbollah already controls the Israeli-Lebanese border.

[This post has been updated and expanded multiple times.]

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Comments

Israel needs to go on the offensive big-time!!

State needs to send a very clear, unambiguous condemnation to the Iranians, saying the U.S. won’t tolerate this kind of provocation.

Just a note, judging from the video, there wasn’t much left to “capture” of the drone…just small debris.

Israel will have learned a lot from the downing of their fighter. It won’t be likely to happen again.

Of course the Iranians are pushing towards war with Israel. It’s their nature and reason for being. But they are totally unprepared to grab the Israeli tiger by the tail.

And what better opportunity for the Iranian people to overthrow the mullahs than when the bulk of their forces are engaged out of country? The forces fighting for Iran may soon find themselves without a country to return to.

    Whitewall in reply to Elric. | February 10, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Force Iran into a multi front war with the most dangerous front right inside against the mullahs.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Whitewall. | February 10, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      I’m convince the overwhelming majority of Persians would love to have all the Mullahs join Mueller in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge or somethin’……

When Iran openly tests its first atomic bomb, everything will get much worse. At that point, Iran will believe they have an impenetrable shield.

    The missiles and bombs coming from from Iran might as well have “Obama/Jarrett” chalked on their side.

    Disgraced former president barack obama is a traitor. The reality that he and jarrett (and klinton and kerry) set the stage for World War III is becoming self-evident.

“The incident appears to be part of Iran’s strategy to stop Israeli attacks on missile and other facilities, which have taken place several dozen times in recent years to try to prevent Syria from acquiring nuclear weapons and Iran passing along ‘game-changing’ weapons to Hezbollah.”

That’s a plausible explanation – but if so, it’s a strategic mistake on the part of the Iranians. (I don’t think anyone believes Syria has enough of a government left to be instigating any of this, even if some of their people are being used to carry it out)

The Israelis are now on notice as to just how serious the Iranians are about establishing their control in the area. I don’t see the current Israeli govm’t as being one to just say “oh, okay, we’ll back off and let you have it.”

A little Biblical flavor – what Barry has wrought.

There is a problem with the Israeli response. That was the destruction of the drone control site in Syria. Unless the drone was armed, its flight into Israeli airspace was not of sufficient provocation as to allow for the Israelis to launch offensive weapons into Syria and destroy anything belonging to anybody.

And, when Israel essentially invaded Syrian territory, the Syrians responded.

The biggest problem with the Syria situation is that a number of nations, from the US on down, seem to feel that the national borders of the sovereign nation of Syria simply do not exist or do not have to be honored. Add to that the fact that the US is actively engaged in attempting to overthrow the lawful government of Syria, a nation with which we are not at war, and you have a huge problem. This essentially pits the US against all of Syria’s allies, including Russia and Iran.

Back in 2011, the US had a chance to establish closer relations with the Syrian government. All we had to do was to refuse to get involved with the terrorist groups which were trying to overthrow the Syrian government. Now we are being slowly sucked into expanded military action in Syria, against a moderate secular Muslim government, which has not attacked the US nor even threatened attack, which will likely bring us into direct conflict with Russia and Iran. Exactly how does that serve the national interests of the US?

    Casey in reply to Mac45. | February 10, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Oh, Please. Syria is a failed state, and the Assad regime has become a puppet of Iran.

    Israel cuts through the BS and attacks any actor who attacks Israel. Assad wouldn’t have any complaints if he hadn’t become a cats-paw for the Iranians.

    No doubt 80 years ago you would have spoken of the legitimate concerns of the Sudetenland Germans and Polish intransigence against Germany.

    Let me clarify the situation for you: the Iranian mullahs are on a mission from God, and their holy mission is to destroy Israel. Since God is on their side they’ll take steps normal human beings would consider foolhardy, if not suicidal.

      Clinger in reply to Casey. | February 10, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      ” the Iranian mullahs are on a mission from SATAN, and their holy mission is to destroy Israel. Since SATAN is on their side they’ll take steps normal human beings would consider foolhardy, if not suicidal.”

      Fixed it for ya….

      Mac45 in reply to Casey. | February 10, 2018 at 5:39 pm

      BS. It does not matter whether Syria is a “failed state” or not. At the moment, it is a sovereign nation with a recognized government. As such, NO OTHER STATE has any right to INVADE the territory of Syria, except in response to armed aggression.

      In this case, the Iranians flew an unarmed drone in Israeli airspace. The operant word is unarmed. An appropriate response would be to destroy the drone. However, to then launch an offensive assault against the territory of Syria, which results in death and property damage is a blatant act of WAR. To attempt to justify such an invasion because an unarmed aircraft flew into Israeli airspace is laughable. Unless you believe that certain nations, such as Israel and the US do not have to play by the same rules as the rest of the world.

        stevewhitemd in reply to Mac45. | February 10, 2018 at 5:48 pm

        How did the Israelis know the drone was unarmed? Did the Iranians tell them ahead of time?

        No?

        Well then. Israel has every right to believe that a drone, armed or not, flying from Syria into Israeli air space is up to no good. They may react accordingly. A drone is a military bird — armed or not it’s gathering intel, testing responses, etc. Let it live and the Iranians will be back the following day or week with another provocation.

        Just because we regularly turn away snoopy Rooshun aircraft that overfly Alaska does not require Israel to be nice to Iranian drones.

        No, you’re off-base here. You’re being legalistic at a time and in a region where legalistic doesn’t work.

          Well, it is pretty easy to tell if an aircraft is carrying explosive armaments when it explodes. It is harder to tell if it is carrying chemical or biological armament.

          Of course they should suspect that the drone is engaged in an illicit incursion. And they are well within their rights to shoot it down. I never said that they weren’t entitled to take that action. In fact, I specifically said that they were justified in shooting down the drone. However, Israel did not have any right to invade Syria and use offensive weapons to inflict property damage and death, over an unarmed drone incursion. That was an act of WAR.

          Israel did not have any right to invade Syria and use offensive weapons to inflict property damage and death, over an unarmed drone incursion. That was an act of WAR.

          So it’s your position that a nation at war has no right to engage in acts of war against its enemy, even in response to aggression from the enemy, so long as that aggression doesn’t rise to some level you alone can determine?

        Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | February 11, 2018 at 12:14 am

        BS. It does not matter whether Syria is a “failed state” or not. At the moment, it is a sovereign nation with a recognized government.

        No, it isn’t. That’s what the term “failed state” means.

        As such, NO OTHER STATE has any right to INVADE the territory of Syria, except in response to armed aggression.

        Really? Who made this rule?

        However, to then launch an offensive assault against the territory of Syria, which results in death and property damage is a blatant act of WAR.

        Of course it’s an act of war. That’s what one does WHEN ONE IS AT WAR.

    Mac45: “Unless the drone was armed, its flight into Israeli airspace was not of sufficient provocation . . .”.

    Perhaps, under the prior administration, your assessment would have been valid. The Israeli Government in 2018 appears to recognize a greater “latitude” in dealing with its enemies, including Iran and Syria.

      When people ignore the rules, we call them outlaws or criminals. It does not matter who they are. So, if the shoe fits, etc.

        Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | February 11, 2018 at 12:17 am

        Again, which rule is this? Who made it?

        “When people ignore the rules, we call them outlaws or criminals.”

        In the Vietnam war, the US military bombed long stretches of the Ho Chi Min trail that were clearly located in Cambodia, a country that was ostensibly ‘neutral’. By your faulty reasoning, the US was guilty of war crimes by attempting to neutralize Viet Cong supply routes across the border in Cambodia. (These supply routes were used to prolong the war resulting the deaths of American soldiers and airmen.)

    Shane in reply to Mac45. | February 10, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Here Mac45 try this out … China has sent a unarmed drone into Hawaiian air space or North Korea has sent an unarmed drone into South Korean air space. I think that pretty much clarifies what is happening here.

      Mac45 in reply to Shane. | February 10, 2018 at 5:46 pm

      So, what is your point? We might shoot down the drone, but would that justify nuking the country? Can we now legally invade that country?

      It is all about proportional response. Your neighbor throwing a paper airplane into your back yard does not justify shooting him. If he points a rifle at you or takes a shot at you, this would justify shooting him. See? This is the situation in Israel. Iran committed an offense analogous to flying a paper or model airplane into Israel’s backyard. Israel shot it down. This is fine. But, Israel had no right to invade Syrian territory and to use offensive weapons against any persons or facilities there.

        stevewhitemd in reply to Mac45. | February 10, 2018 at 5:50 pm

        Again, you’re being legalistic. “Proportional response” is all well and good in a non-war setting. But when you’re confronted by an enemy that regularly avows to wipe out your country, murder all your people and give the land to someone else, “proportional response” is foolishness.

        The Israelis live in a region where proportional response is interpreted as a sign of weakness. They’ve learned.

          So, when you shoot your neighbor as he is standing, unarmed, in his backyard, after he threw a paper airplane into your backyard, feel free to use the fact that he had said that he wanted to kill you, in times past, as a defense. I hope that you and Bubba hit it off.

          This idea that certain nations, such as Israel and the US, are exempt from the norms followed by the rest of the world, is ridiculous. If a US drone flew over Mexican territory, or Canadian territory Americans would be upset if it were simply shot down. But, if Mexico or Canada then flew warplanes into the US and began destroying our military facilities and killing our people this WOULD MEAN WAR.

          Perspective is always important. And, in this case, if Iran, Syria, Russia and their allies decide to retaliate by invading Israel, will the US be dragged into it? Over a stupid unarmed drone? Give me a break.

          Mac45: “If a US drone flew over Mexican territory, or Canadian territory Americans would be upset if it were simply shot down.”
          We are not at war with Mexico or Canada. Syria, on the other hand, has repeatedly made war upon Israel, seeking its utter annihilation, and there is still not peace with Syria since Syria does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Furthermore, that was an Iranian drone launched from within Syria, and Iran has sworn to wipe out Israel.

          pst314-“Mac45: “If a US drone flew over Mexican territory, or Canadian territory Americans would be upset if it were simply shot down.”
          We are not at war with Mexico or Canada. Syria, on the other hand, has repeatedly made war upon Israel, seeking its utter annihilation, and there is still not peace with Syria since Syria does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Furthermore, that was an Iranian drone launched from within Syria, and Iran has sworn to wipe out Israel.”

          It would be nice if you did not cherry pick my statements. Let’s take a look at the WHOLE statement and see what it says.

          Mac45-“If a US drone flew over Mexican territory, or Canadian territory Americans would be upset if it were simply shot down. But, if Mexico or Canada then flew warplanes into the US and began destroying our military facilities and killing our people this WOULD MEAN WAR.”

          It changes the whole meaning of the passage IF you use the whole thing. I stand by my statement that there would be hell to pay if Canada or Mexico not only shot down a US drone over their territory BUT then flew into US territory and destroyed military facilities and killed US citizens. That would be an unmitigated act of WAR. And, that is exactly what Israel did in Syria.

          You cherry picked my statement to attempt a weak justification for an overreaction on the part of Israel.

          1) We are not speaking of an armed incursion into Israeli territory. This was an UNARMED drone, not an armed warplane. As it was an incursion, it can be justifiable engaged and shot down.

          2) If Israel wished to mount a retaliatory action, then it should have flown an unarmed drone into Syria. Instead it invaded Syrian territory and used offensive weapons to destroy property and kill people, without any action being taken to cause, or attempt to cause, property damage or death in Israel.

          3) Because of the fact that all of the nations which surround Israel have attempted to destroy it during the last 70 years, the world tends to cut Israel a lot of slack when it comes to invading the territory of its neighbors and using offensive weaponry to cause property damage and death; even when those nations are not actively attacking it. However, this does not mean that such actions are the norm of world civilization. It is extremely hard to justify going next door and shooting your neighbor in the head because he had attacked you years ago and was in the process of buying a gun. Yet, Israel has done something similar on more than one occasion.

          No matter how you try to spin it, Israel’s retaliatory action was several orders of magnitude beyond what was acceptable. And, it could very well end up dragging the US into a war with Syria, Turkey, Iran and Russia. There is already a Shia-Sunni fight going on in Syria and the US has thrust itself right into the middle of that, by backing the mainly terrorist Sunni anti-Assad fighters. I really do not think that we need to be involved in a multilateral war in Syria, of all places. It has no strategic value for the US and very little tactical value. It is amazing that the US is still in Afghanistan, a place which has NO strategic value and is a logistical nightmare for the US. We should have been out of there by 2004, at the latest. We pulled out of Iraq, a nation which could have been of immense strategic importance to the US, in 2011. And, of course, now we are back there, but in a very ineffective way. Now we are getting further involved in Syria. Due largely to US support, the anti-Government force in the Syrian Civil War were able to drive government forces out of much of the eastern part of the country. This allowed ISIL, which had developed in Iraq around 2007 and which expanded rapidly following the removal of US forces in 2011, to begin moving into eastern Syria and growing into a force which actually expelled members of the anti-Assad forces from captured territories. The US allowed ISIL to grow and expand, both in Iraq and in Syria. And now, we are trampling all over national sovereignty to try to fix the ISIL problem. Yet, we are still engaged in the same actions which allowed ISIL to expand in the first place. I fail to see the logic in this phase of our foreign policy.

          Mac45 “So, when you shoot your neighbor as he is standing, unarmed, in his backyard, after he threw a paper airplane into your backyard…”

          These are not peaceful neighbors. This is merely another incident in a war that has only paused now and then.

          But I understand that some people think that Israel should not defend itself from all aggressive acts.

          Mac45 why does it matter that it was unarmed. What if battalion of unarmed soldiers crossed the border from N. Korea to S. Korea … so what right? No biggie right? What if an unarmed spy was caught in the U.S. from China or Russia or wherever … no biggie right?

          So Israel should allow Iran or Hezzbolah or whoever to fly in and survey their territory and that shouldn’t be considered a provocation .. you have got to be out of your mind.

    Get in a Cessna (or 747) and try flying into Russian, Chinese, Iranian, etc. airspace. Or American air space, for that matter.

    But draft a will, first.

    Korean Air Lines Flight 007 Shot Down by Russia; 269 Dead:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Air_Lines_Flight_007

    Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | February 11, 2018 at 12:10 am

    Unless the drone was armed, its flight into Israeli airspace was not of sufficient provocation as to allow for the Israelis to launch offensive weapons into Syria and destroy anything belonging to anybody.

    Why on earth not?

    The biggest problem with the Syria situation is that a number of nations, from the US on down, seem to feel that the national borders of the sovereign nation of Syria simply do not exist or do not have to be honored.

    That’s right, they don’t. Especially by Israel, which is at war with Syria.

    Add to that the fact that the US is actively engaged in attempting to overthrow the lawful government of Syria,

    Lawful government?! What exactly makes it lawful?

    a nation with which we are not at war

    We aren’t; what has that got to do with the Israelis, who are?

Mac45 “a moderate secular Muslim government”
Moderate. LOL

    Casey in reply to pst314. | February 10, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Yes, it’s pretty sad when the Assad regime is termed a “moderate secular administration.”

    Mac45 in reply to pst314. | February 10, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Compared to some of the other Islamic governments in the region, it is is, indeed, moderate.

    This is a sad state of affairs, to be sure. But, it is, non-the-less, the reality in the Middle East.

      Casey in reply to Mac45. | February 10, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      That’s like saying compared to the NSDAP, Italian Fascists were moderate. Tell that to the people they gassed in Ethiopia.

        Mac45 in reply to Casey. | February 10, 2018 at 6:06 pm

        Italy INVADED Ethiopia. The operant word there is INVADED; as in entered the borders of a sovereign nation and used offensive weapons against i9ts people.

        The Assad government is a brutal thugocracy, by western standards. However, it is far more secular than it is religious. It is far less offensive than Iran, Turkey and several other Muslim countries in the region. Also, the overthrow of the Assad government was instigated and supported by President Obama; the man who gave us a post Gaddafi Libya, a Muslim Brotherhood Eygpt, ISIS etc. This alone should cast a large cloud of doubt over the US insistence on removing Al-Assad.

          Shane in reply to Mac45. | February 11, 2018 at 11:33 pm

          Israel had no intent to invade Syria nor did that take territory. I can’t understand what you are not getting here.

      pst314 in reply to Mac45. | February 10, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      “moderate” is a tell: Someone who says that, without a qualification such as “compared to other more extreme regimes in the region” is BS’ing us.

      Icepilot in reply to Mac45. | February 10, 2018 at 3:08 pm

      “moderate”!?!?!

      “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said (in rather a scornful tone), “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
      “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
      “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

      “Moderate:”

      Syrians describe torture inside Assad prisons: ‘Death is much better than this’
      http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/07/25/syrians-describe-torture-inside-assad-prisons-death-is-much-better-than-this.html

Iran is going to regret that mistake. Like, Russia, Israel does not mess around, does not turn the other cheek.

This is one of the results of Tyrant Obama the Liar’s “Help Iran Get Nucs” treaty.

Mac45, could it be that you were unaware of such a basic fact about the Middle East conflict as that a state of war exists between Israel and Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and several other Arab states (but not Iran)?

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