World

Clash turns up Israel-Iran heat, but neither seeks war

Clash turns up Israel-Iran heat, but neither seeks war

Israel's air attack on a manned Iranian command and control unit in Syria last weekend-and the Syrian shoot-down of an Israeli plane involved in the operation-marked a major escalation in the conflict between Israel and Iran in Syria.

In the past week, the USA military opened a new bombing attack on forces loyal to the government in Damascus and the Israeli Air Force targeted what it called "Iranian bases" in Syria with a massive attack.

After Syrian missiles shot down one of the Israeli jets, an Iranian spokesperson promised a "relentless response" to any more aggression.

Israel's defense minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday that it is "not the time to bark" at Syria, but to "bite hard" in defense of its territory in light of recent hostilities on the Syrian border. Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to back the troops of Syrian President Bashar Assad, said the developments mean "a decisive end to old arrangements".

It often seems that Iran and the Syrian regime are speaking the same narrative.

Assad is also supported by Russian Federation and Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah. But conflict between Iran, Assad, Hezbollah and Israel does more than destabilize Syria - it throws a wrench into Moscow's Middle East agenda. The military also says it struck Iranian targets in Syria that launched the drone. The second sortie lost no aircraft despite taking heavy anti-aircraft fire. This is particularly crucial for Iran as its regional foes have chosen to sit on the sidelines in terms of direct military action against Iran in Syria.

Shortly after the retaliatory airstrikes on Syria, Netanyahu reemphasized to Putin Israel's resolve to aggressively counter any Iranian threat to the Jewish State.

The Israeli military has claimed that the Iranian drone that infiltrated their airspace on Saturday morning (February 10) was a copy of RQ-170 Sentinel, a USA aircraft captured by the Islamic Republic in 2011.

But he also made clear that Iran must get the message its "era of immunity" is over.

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Soon after the drone entered their airspace, it was shot down by the Israeli Air Force.

The Iranian official also said that the move shows that the era of "hit-an-run" has ended.

"God willing they will see more surprises whenever they try to attack Syria", Soussan said in a press conference at the Foreign and Expatriate Ministry in Damascus, according to Reuters. The debris of the aircraft fell in northern Israel, with the two pilots surviving by ejecting before the crash.

The head of Israeli Intelligence assured Iran that it will suffer the consequences if it continues to violate Israel's border with Lebanon and Syria.

Six people were killed in the strikes, including four non-Syrians fighting with the regime and two Syrian soldiers, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor. The raid was directed at a site Jerusalem believes Iran used to launch a drone that was destroyed in Israel earlier in the day. "The expectations are that the Russians will stop it because I don't think anyone is interested right now in a war", Oren said.

"For the time being both sides will restrain their responses and there will not be an escalation in the very near future", she added. All sides have warned that such accidents could lead to larger wars.

"I think that this incident is likely to be contained", he said.

The FDD is an annex of the Israeli lobby and a charter member of the War Party.

But other commentators noted that when heavily armed neighbours engage in brinksmanship, it's easy to step over the brink.


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