Israel will not allow Iran 'entrenchment' in Syria: PM

Israel will not allow Iran 'entrenchment' in Syria: PM

Israel will not allow Iran 'entrenchment' in Syria: PM

"Our policy is absolutely clear: Israel will defend itself from every attack and from every attempt to harm our sovereignty", Netanyahu said.

Israel on top of things ...

Israel has recently issued several stern warnings about the increased Iranian involvement along its borders with Syria and Lebanon.

"Iran only provides military advice to Syria", TV quoted Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying.

"Israel is our [US] closest security partner in the region and we [ the US] fully support Israel's inherent right to defend itself against threats to its territory and its people", Pentagon spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway said.

"Normally, in a moment of crisis or of potential escalation, American diplomacy coordinates very closely with Israel and is critical for containing these situations and deterring Israeli and US enemies from acting aggressively", said Shapiro, a visiting fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Israel.

At least one of the Israeli F-16s was shot with a missile, fired by the Syrian air defense, inside Syrian airspace.

"This demonstrates that our warnings were 100% correct", he added.

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Meanwhile, Ali Akbar Velayati, adviser to country's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on worldwide affairs, while speaking to the reporters in Tehran on Saturday said that the Syrian government and nation have proved that they would sacrifice themselves to "safeguard their country's territorial integrity, security and independence".

Netanyahu spoke with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after Saturday's confrontation.

But as the Syrian war winds down, Israeli officials have voiced increasing alarm that Iran and its Shiite allies are establishing a permanent presence in Syria that could turn its aim toward Israel. Russian Federation expressed "serious concern" over the Israeli air strikes and called for all sides to show restraint.

The confrontation was the most serious between arch foes Israel and Iran since the start of the civil war in Syria in 2011.

Conricus stressed that Israel was not interested in escalating tensions in, claiming that the airstrikes on its territory were defensive in nature. Since then, an uneasy quiet returned to the Israel-Syria border - a familiar feeling in the area - with no additional strikes or retaliations from either side.

The Trump administration has come out in strong support of the Israeli action against Iranian targets in Syria, saying the USA backs its "staunch" ally's right to "defend" itself.

Guterres "stresses once again that all concerned in Syria and the region have a responsibility and must abide by worldwide law and relevant Security Council resolutions".

Russia, which backs Assad and maintains a large military presence in the country, called for restraint and appeared to criticize Israel's actions.

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Dan Shapiro, a former USA ambassador to Israel, said in an interview that the US appears to be "ceding all the diplomacy to Russia" and in doing so, was making a mistake.

"Israel is a staunch ally of the United States, and we support its right to defend itself from the Iranian-backed Syrian and militia forces in southern Syria", the White House statement released late on Saturday read. The military says it hit four Iranian positions and eight Syrian sites, causing significant damage. Iran's military chief warned Israel last October against breaching Syrian airspace and territory.

A picture taken on February 10, 2018 shows the remains of an Israeli F-16 that was shot down by Syrian air defense during attacks in Syria.

Damascus said its air defences repelled two Israeli raids on its military bases in central Syria, hitting more than one warplane during the first.

The major change is the fact that the Iranians directly sent a drone into Israel. Waiting at the border was a group of Israeli Apache attack helicopters that swiftly downed the drone.

"This is the most blatant and severe Iranian violation of Israeli sovereignty" in recent years, Conricus told journalists. The Syrians are playing with fire when they allow the Iranians to attack Israel from their soil.

Saturday's air strikes marked the toughest Israeli aerial assault in Syria in decades.

Hezbollah - an Iranian-installed terrorist group operating in Syria and oftentimes in Israel's West Bank and Gaza Strip amongst the Palestinians - celebrated Israel's downed F-16 fighter, insisting that the destroyed aircraft marks the ushering in of future destruction for Israel.

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The Assad-supporting jihadist organization credited and applauded Syria for allegedly knocking down one of Israel's warplanes. "[The Syrian response marks] a decisive end to old arrangements".

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