Tel Aviv and Damascus no longer have a peace treaty, but their differences have been a cause for repeated attacks which the United States say, permits both governments, particularly Israel, to defend its rights and territorial integrity.
Earlier on 10 February, media reports confirmed the Israeli army announced one of its helicopters had downed an Iranian drone and struck Iranian targets in Syria, prompting return fire from the Syrian air defense systems. During the attack, one Israeli pilot was forced to eject from his plane shortly before the F-16 fighter jet came crashing.
However, a pro-Assad military alliance in Syria said in a statement that Israeli claim about Iranian drone entering its aerospace is a fabricated lie, but the IDF, during its retaliatory attacks, targeted a drone base in Syria, which was used in fighting the Daesh terrorist group.
Iran squashed the rumors from Israel, saying the claims on downing an Iranian drone flying over Israel and its involvement in attacking an Israeli jet were “ridiculous.”
In the ensuing war of words, Israel in its turn said it is not interested in escalating the situation in Syria, but stressed that “airstrikes on the territory of this country are of defensive nature.”
Images the downed Israeli F-16 Fighter Jet
Prior to that incident, exactly on 7 February, an Israeli military aircraft had reportedly launched several missiles at a target located in the Damascus province of Syria.
During one of the latest bombings which took place in January, the Syrian military said it thwarted three Israeli missile attacks on Damascus countryside, and the government warned its Israeli counterpart about the possible risks posed by such attacks.
However, Israel has boldly conducted “provoked” airstrikes in Syria, and according to Netanyahu’s army, the act was forced by an “act of aggression from Iran” after an Iranian drone flew into the disputed Israel-occupied Golan Heights last night.
Pentagon’s spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway said, “Israel is our [US] closest security partner in the region and we [US] fully support Israel’s inherent right to defend itself against threats to its territory and its people.”
Adrian emphasized that America was not part of the attack.
“The US Department of Defense did not participate in this military operation,” he said, referring to the Israeli latest attacks on what its military said were Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria, including Syrian air defense systems.
“We share the concerns of many throughout the region that Iran’s destabilizing activities threaten international peace and security,” Adrian continued, “and we seek greater international resolve in countering Iran’s malign activities.”