The Israeli government issued a warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad not to let Iran use the country as a launch pad for attacks following a tense weekend, which saw an Israeli fighter jet shot down, and a new threat from Syria of “more surprises.”
On Saturday, Syrian anti-aircraft fire shot down an Israeli fighter jet, and Israel responded by striking an Iranian target that had launched an unmanned aircraft into its airspace from Syria, Reuters reported citing the Israeli military.
“IDF (Israel Defence Forces) has targeted the Iranian control systems in Syria that sent the #UAV into Israeli airspace. Massive Syrian Anti-Air fire, one F16 crashed in Israel, pilots safe,” Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said on Twitter.
The drone that Israel claimed to have shot down over the weekend appears to have been developed by Iran via technology it gained after it captured a U.S. stealth aircraft back in 2011, the Washington Post reports, citing Israeli officials and aviation experts.
Fox News reported the Israeli fighter jet shot down on Saturday was returning home after completing a “blitz” that reportedly destroyed roughly half of Syria’s anti-aircraft batteries.
The Jerusalem Post cited an Israeli military spokesperson who said Iran and its Revolutionary Guard forces within Syria have been operating at the drone launch sit “for a long time, backed by Syrian army forces and with the approval of the Syrian regime.”
On Tuesday the Syrian government warned Israel will face “more surprises” if it launches more attacks in the war-torn country.
“Have full confidence the aggressor will be greatly surprised, because it thought this war – this war of attrition Syria has been exposed to for years – had made it incapable of confronting attacks,” Reuters reported Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Sussan as saying. “God willing, they will see more surprises whenever they try to attack Syria.”
(Written & Edited by Bart Charles Begley)