By Loveday Morris and Ruth Eglash, (c) 2018, The Washington Post
JERUSALEM – Israel’s army said it had launched a “large-scale attack” inside Syria on Saturday after one of its jets was downed under Syrian anti-aircraft fire, in a series of cross-border incidents that threatened to destabilize the volatile region between the two countries.
Israel says the situation started with an Iranian drone crossing into its territory from Syria at around 4:30 a.m. It was shot down by an Israeli attack helicopter.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahran Qasemi, however, described the Israeli claim as “ridiculous.”
Israel later dispatched eight fighter jets to bomb the T4 military base near the Syrian city of Palmyra, from where it says the drone was dispatched and controlled. Syria responded with “substantial Syrian anti-aircraft fire” under which two Israeli pilots ejected from their F-16, which crashed inside Israel, according to the Israeli military. One of the pilots was severely injured, it said.
“The Syrians are playing with fire that they are allowing the Iranians to attack Israel from their soil,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces. “The IDF is ready and capable to inflict a heavy price on anyone that attacks us. This is a severe attack and a breach of Israeli sovereignty perpetrated by Iran.”
In this image made from video provided by Yehunda Pinto, the wreckage of a jet is seen near Harduf, northern Israel, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. The Israeli military shot down an Iranian drone that infiltrated the country early Saturday before launching a “large-scale attack” on at least a dozen Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria. Israel called it a “severe and irregular violation of Israeli sovereignty” and warned of further action against the unprecedented Iranian aggression. (Yehunda Pinto via AP)
After its fighter jet crashed, Israel responded by targeting …read more
Source:: The Mercury News