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Israel raids inside Syria since 2013

11 February 2018

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.

"Iran seeks to use Syrian territory to attack Israel for its professed goal of destroying Israel".

The Israeli military said the F-16 jet crashed during a mission to strike Iranian drone installations in Syria, where Iranian and Iran-backed forces have established a major foothold while fighting in support of Assad. One pilot was seriously wounded and the other lightly.

"This is a serious Iranian attack on Israeli territory".

The Israeli military says it has carried out a "large scale attack" against Iranian targets in Syria. The stated targets included three air defense batteries and a base belonging to the Syrian army's 4th Division on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus.

Israel soon sent fighter jets into Syria to attack the T4 military base near the Syrian city of Palmyra, from which the drone supposedly was launched.

The Israeli leader said he had spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin whose country supports the Syrian regime.

But Israel and Syria signalled they were not seeking wider conflict, even as prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu rushed to military headquarters in Tel Aviv and the pro-Assad alliance pledged a strong response to any Israeli "terrorist action".

Russia, which has troops based at T4 military base, reacted with anger.

The Syrian people are suffering "though one of the most violent periods in almost seven years of conflict", said the United Nations statement.

The incident, which triggered sirens in the northern Golan Heights, is believed to be Israel's most significant involvement in Syria since the war began there some seven years ago. Syria's response in the past has been limited, but it appeared to be sending a message on Saturday that it would not remain that way.

Syrian television said its country's defense systems hit more than than one Israeli aircraft. "Much more will be fired in the future at Israeli airports if Israel continues its aggressions".

The Israeli air force launched a further series of strikes targeting what it said were Iranian and Syrian military targets in Syria.

Israeli media reported that the drone was shot down near Beit Shean, close to the border with Jordan, after flying for about 90 seconds in Israeli airspace.

But Conricus said Israel was in possession of the remains of the drone and that Israeli officials were certain was Iranian. "We agreed the security coordination between our armies will continue", Netanyahu said at a press conference on Saturday evening, where he blamed Iran for the Saturday's incident. He said the sound of Syrian anti-aircraft missiles is louder than usual.

"We heard a loud bang but we did not know what was going on and ran downstairs to the shelter, a safe room in our home", he said. The drone was tracked by an Apache helicopter and shot down. Iran has considerably increased its presence in Syria since the outbreak of that country's civil war in 2011.

"Security Council members must not stand idly by while Iran is instigating risky escalations and violating Security Council resolutions", he said.

Netanyahu, visiting the Golan on Tuesday, peered across the border into Syria and in public remarks warned Israel's enemies not to test its resolve.

Author information: Loveday Morris is our Jerusalem bureau chief.

Israel raids inside Syria since 2013