Israeli UN envoy calls on Security Council to condemn Iran's activities

The army was carrying out attacks against

The army was carrying out attacks against"Iranian targets in Syria after intercepting a drone

Certainly the retaliatory strikes and the subsequent downing of an Israeli F-16 jet - probably by Syrian anti-aircraft fire - makes this whole incident a significant escalation in the context of the Syrian conflict.

Reuters reports that Israel has kicked off implementation of the threat. "However, we are not looking to escalate the situation".

Syrian sovereignty has also come under attack by Turkey in recent times.

A pro-Syrian military alliance said later in the day that the Israeli claim about a drone intrusion was bogus, noting that Israel had targeted a drone base in Syria whose unmanned aircraft were used against the Daesh terrorist group.

"We will not allow that regime to entrench itself militarily in Syria, as it seeks to do, for the express objective of eradicating our state", Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a visit to Washington in December.

Israel says the episode began with an Iranian drone crossing into its territory from Syria in the early hours of Saturday. The broadcaster said sounds of explosions were heard Saturday in Reef Damascus province, near the capital city.

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"Twelve targets, including three aerial defence batteries and four Iranian targets that are part of Iran's military establishment in Syria were attacked", a military statement said.

"Thanks to God, the Islamic Republic of Iran today is stronger than ever". Its objective is to keep Hizbullah and Iran out of Quneitra and away from the Israeli border.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, January 29, 2018.

Putin told Netanyahu there was a need to avoid any steps that would lead to a new confrontation in the region, Interfax reported.

The drone remained in Israeli airspace for a minute and a half before it was downed by a combat helicopter. Netanyahu said he and Tillerson discussed the flare-up on Saturday.

"The government and army of Syria as an independent country have a legitimate right to defend (the country's) territorial integrity and counter any type of foreign aggression". The targeting of the Israeli F-16 may in part have been meant to signal to Turkey and the U.S. that intervening in Syria is going to be associated with heightened costs.

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The Israeli military confirmed that the F-16 had gone down in Palestine's northern occupied territories, and that the two pilots had been transferred to hospital after ejecting out safely.

What we can learn from this event is that the IDF has exceptional intelligence on the Iranian operation and its entrenchment in Syria.

According to experts, this is a UAV with a piston wing that resembles the US RQ-170, a stealth-capable drone and a jet engine that Iran fell in 2011. The official said the Israeli raids hit a base in the country's central area, and called it a "new aggression".

Lebanon protested Israel's use of its airspace to target Syria, saying it will complain to the United Nations Security Council. Iran and allied militias have fought alongside government troops against rebels and Islamist factions in the seven-year-old Syrian war.

Israeli military officials accused the Syrians and Iranians of "playing with fire", but indicated that Israel wanted to contain the situation. "It violated our sovereignty, it infiltrated Israeli territory with an [unmanned] aircraft from Syrian territory".

"Israel has repeatedly said it won't allow Iran and its allies to entrench themselves militarily in Syria", she said.

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