World Israel, Iran Lurch Toward Confrontation as Border Region Boils

05:10  11 february  2018
05:10  11 february  2018 Source:   bloomberg.com

Israel F-16 jet shot down by Syrian fire, military says

  Israel F-16 jet shot down by Syrian fire, military says An Israeli F-16 fighter jet crashed Saturday in northern Israel due to "massive anti-aircraft fire" from Syrian forces, according to the Israeli army. The incident was reported after an Israeli combat helicopter came in contact with an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle that had been launched from Syria, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. Israeli forces also launched attacks on what they described as Iranian targets in Syria, the IDF said.Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman with the Israel Defense Forces said in a tweet that "Iran is responsible for this severe violation of Israeli sovereignty.

Israeli media reported that the Iranian military drone was shot down near Beit Shean, close to the border with Jordan, after flying for about 90 seconds in Israeli airspace. “The risk is a direct confrontation between Israel and Iran that will encompass Syria and Lebanon.”

Israeli media reported that the Iranian military drone was shot down near Beit Shean, close to the border with Jordan, after flying for about 90 seconds in Israeli airspace. "The risk is a direct confrontation between Israel and Iran that will encompass Syria and Lebanon."

A picture taken in the northern Israeli Kibbutz of Harduf on February 10, 2018, shows the remains of an Israel F-16 that crashed after coming under fire by Syrian air defences during attacks against © JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images A picture taken in the northern Israeli Kibbutz of Harduf on February 10, 2018, shows the remains of an Israel F-16 that crashed after coming under fire by Syrian air defences during attacks against "Iranian targets" in the war-torn country. / AFP PHOTO / Jack GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

(Bloomberg) -- Israel and Iran moved closer to confrontation in Syria as rising tensions erupted into the most serious standoff between the sides since the Syrian civil war began seven years ago.

Israel on Saturday struck 12 targets in Syria, including four Iranian targets, in a “large-scale attack” after an Iranian military drone penetrated Israeli airspace, the Israel Defense Forces said. An F-16 fighter plane crashed in northern Israel after coming under fire from Syrian anti-aircraft missiles, and the pilots were hospitalized with moderate to severe injuries.

The drone shot down by Israel was an Iranian copy of a U.S. craft, Israel says

  The drone shot down by Israel was an Iranian copy of a U.S. craft, Israel says Images of the unmanned craft released by Israel’s military resemble a U.S. stealth drone captured by Iran in 2011.Experts who examined footage of the drone being shot down and images of its wreckage released by the Israeli military agreed that the shape strongly resembled that of Iran’s Saeqeh, or “Thunderbolt,” drone, which was based on a CIA-operated RQ-170 captured by Iran.

Israel , Iran Lurch Toward Confrontation as Border Region Boils . The Israeli military on Saturday said it struck 12 targets in Syria, including four belonging to Iran , in a “large-scale attack” after an Iranian drone penetrated its airspace.

Israeli media reported that the Iranian military drone was shot down near Beit Shean, close to the border with Jordan, after flying for about 90 seconds in Israeli airspace. "The risk is a direct confrontation between Israel and Iran that will encompass Syria and Lebanon".

Saturday’s confrontation comes amid Israeli warnings that it won’t let Syria become an Iranian base and will intercept weapons shipments bound for Iran-backed Hezbollah militants in Lebanon. Iran and allied militias have fought alongside government troops against rebels and Islamist factions in the Syrian war.

“The question is whether the Iranians will respond or lower the fire at this stage,” said Ephraim Kam, a senior researcher at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies. “My feeling is that they don’t have an interest in escalation.”

‘Right and duty’

On Saturday night, after hours of consultations with the defense minister and military chief of staff, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the Iranian drone flight as a “brazen” attempt to violate Israel’s sovereignty, and said it was Israel’s “right and duty” to respond.

Rex Tillerson is skipping Israel on a massive tour of the Middle East, and it's looking more and more like a mistake

  Rex Tillerson is skipping Israel on a massive tour of the Middle East, and it's looking more and more like a mistake AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell Rex Tillerson is going on a five-country tour of the Middle East this week. Israel is noticeably absent from his itinerary. Tensions escalated in the region after Tillerson's trip wasLoad Error

israel - iran - lurch - toward - confrontation - as - border - region - boils -bloomberg.jpg. Advertisement click on exit Close the Add. 2018-02-11.

Israeli media reported that the Iranian military drone was shot down near Beit Shean, close to the border with Jordan, after flying for about 90 seconds in Israeli airspace. "The risk is a direct confrontation between Israel and Iran that will encompass Syria and Lebanon."

“Israel’s face is turned toward peace, but we will continue to defend ourselves with determination against any attack on us and against any Iranian attempt to base itself in Syria or anywhere else,” Netanyahu said. “Iran seeks to use Syrian territory to attack Israel for its professed goal of destroying Israel.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Iranian television Saturday that countries are mistaken if they think bombing their neighbors will bring good results, Reuters reported.

Israel has attacked inside Syria frequently since the civil war began in March 2011, targeting Syrian military posts and arms shipments bound for Hezbollah. Until this weekend, occasional responses by Syria and Hezbollah against Israel had caused little damage.

Israeli officials wouldn’t confirm if the F-16 had been downed by a Syrian missile, as teams combed the crash site for remains to analyze. Across the border the event was taken as a victory, with dozens of Lebanese celebrating and waving Hezbollah’s flag.

Israel Says U.S. Not in Syria ‘Game’ as Russia Seen Dominant

  Israel Says U.S. Not in Syria ‘Game’ as Russia Seen Dominant Israel is counting on Russian President Vladimir Putin to keep confrontations with Iran and Syria from spiraling into war as the Trump administration mostly watches from the sidelines, a senior aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “The American part of the equation is to back us up,” but the U.S. currently “has almost no leverage on the ground,” Michael Oren, Netanyahu’s deputy minister for public diplomacy and a former ambassador to Washington, said in a phone interview Sunday. “America did not ante up in Syria. It’s not in the game.

Israeli media reported that the Iranian military drone was shot down near Beit Shean, close to the border with Jordan, after flying for about 90 seconds in Israeli airspace. "The risk is a direct confrontation between Israel and Iran that will encompass Syria and Lebanon."

10. Photographer: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images. Israel and Iran moved closer to confrontation in Syria as rising tensions erupted into the most serious standoff between the sides

New rules

The downing of the plane marks "the beginning of a new strategic stage that puts an end to violations of Syrian airspace and territory," Hezbollah said in a statement. "Today’s formulas mean the old formulas have fallen."

Israeli media reported that the Iranian military drone was shot down near Beit Shean, close to the border with Jordan, after flying for about 90 seconds in Israeli airspace. Hadashot News reported the Israeli counterattack in Syria was believed to have destroyed a significant portion of the country’s air-defense system.

Netanyahu has made a number of visits to Russia, the dominant player in Syria, to lay out Israel’s red lines and ask President Vladimir Putin to rein in Iran. Netanyahu said he spoke to Putin again Saturday, as well as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and that the Israeli and Russian militaries would continue their coordination to avoid inadvertent confrontation in Syria.

In a statement on its website Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it was concerned about the Israeli attack and said it was unacceptable to create threats to the safety of Russian military personnel in Syria.

Syria 'repels' Israeli surveillance aircraft: state media

  Syria 'repels' Israeli surveillance aircraft: state media Syria on Wednesday repelled Israeli surveillance planes that breached its southern border, state media reported, days after an Israeli fighter jet was downed during raids on the war-torn country. "Syrian air defences have repelled Israeli surveillance planes over Quneitra, forcing them to leave Syrian airspace," the official SANA news agency said.On Saturday, the Syrian government said it fended off an Israeli raid on a military base in the centre of the country, hitting more than one warplane.

Israeli media reported that the Iranian military drone was shot down near Beit Shean, close to the border with Jordan, after flying for about 90 seconds in Israeli airspace. “The risk is a direct confrontation between Israel and Iran that will encompass Syria and Lebanon.”

More from Bloomberg.com: Israel Hits Back at Iran and Syria as Border Region Boils . “ Israel ’s face is turned toward peace, but we will continue to defend Updates with Iranian comments in seventh, eighth paragraph. More from Bloomberg.com. Read Israel , Iran Lurch Toward Confrontation as

‘Red Card’

Israeli politicians from across the spectrum largely backed the government’s response. Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, from Netanyahu’s Likud Party, said that after Israel’s repeated warnings on Iran in Syria -- what he called a “yellow card” for the Islamic Republic -- Saturday’s strike represented a “red card.” Tzipi Livni of the opposition Zionist Union faction said the government must do more to build international backing for Israeli attacks in Syria.

“What we’re watching is an attempt by the Iranians to shape the situation in Syria as we approach the end of the civil war in a way that serves Iranian interests,” said Yossi Kuperwasser, former director general of Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry and now a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Israel “showed how determined it is not to allow Iran to have the Middle East the way it wants it.”

A statement attributed to a war operations room that includes the Syrian army and allied militias said the Israeli strike targeted a drone base in the Tayfour military airbase, calling claims that the drone entered Israeli airspace “lies.” It said the drones collect information on militant groups, including Islamic State, for the Syrian army, and said the drone was on a routine mission Saturday morning targeting Islamic State remnants.

“Any new aggression will be met with a tough and serious response,” the statement said.

The remains of a missile that landed in the southern Lebanese village of Kaoukaba on Feb. 10.

The current violence is the first direct engagement between Iran and Israel, said Sami Nader, head of the Beirut-based Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs.

“Before, it was done through proxies,” for example by the Syrian regime or the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, Nader said. “The risk is a direct confrontation between Israel and Iran that will encompass Syria and Lebanon.”

(Adds analyst comment in fourth paragraph, Netanyahu comment in sixth paragraph.)

--With assistance from Nadeem Hamid Anatoly Medetsky and David Wainer

To contact the reporters on this story: Donna Abu-Nasr in Beirut at dabunasr@bloomberg.net, Gwen Ackerman in Jerusalem at gackerman@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at asalha@bloomberg.net, Michael S. Arnold, Sophie Mongalvy

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

Israel's 'myth of invincibility ... has crumbled,' Iranian foreign minister says .
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke to NBC News' Bill Neely in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.After "30 years the Syrians were able to down one of its planes," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told NBC News in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on Sunday. "And so the myth of invincibility of Israel, of the Israeli military, has crumbled.

Source: http://us.pressfrom.com/news/world/-119356-israel-iran-lurch-toward-confrontation-as-border-region-boils/

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