Iran and Syria 'playing with fire' as drone intercepted

Israel downs Iranian drone pounds Iranian targets in Syria Military

Syrian anti-aircraft batteries scored a rare shoot-down of an Israeli F-16 late Saturday morning local time.

The Israeli military said two pilots had bailed from the downed aircraft and one was severely injured.

Iran is well aware of the geographical presence of the terrorist group of ISIS and knows about its strategies, Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said.

"This incident proves that every one of these warnings proved true", Danon added, referring to the operation of the Iranian drone.

The drone entered Israeli airspace at 4:50 a.m. local time Saturday after being tracked by the Israeli military from its launch from the Iranian T-4 command center near Palmyra, Syria, Conricus said.

Neighboring Lebanon said it will file a complaint with the United Nations Security Council over Israel's use of its airspace to launch attacks on Syria. During the attack, anti-aircraft missiles were fired toward Israel jets triggering sirens that were sounded across northern Israel.

Netanyahu spent much of the day in security consultations in Tel Aviv with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. -Gen.

Iran has denied this, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahran Qasemi calling the claim "ridiculous".

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The Israeli action came following the IDF's announcement that one of its military jets had crashed after coming under fire from anti-aircraft missiles in Syria.

State television stations also said that sounds of explosions believed to be from Israeli attacks were heard in the Damascus countryside. The Iraqi Nujaba Party of God, a Shiite militia, is also active in Syria and is dedicated to the liberation of the Occupied Golan Heights.

"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 has mostly stayed out of the fighting in Syria, wary of being drawn into fighting between forces that are all opposed to it.

Israel has been attempting to inflict attrition on Iranian activities in southwestern Syria, as Maysam Behravesh reported for the Cairo Review of Global Affairs. "This is the first such incident in the last 30 years", Israeli military journalist Amos Harel wrote Saturday, adding that Syria's willingness to retaliate to Israeli airstrikes showed "the regime's newfound sense of power". "The drone fell in our territory and is in our possession". "It brazenly violated our sovereignty, it infiltrated its aircraft into Israeli territory from Syrian territory", he said, referring to an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle. "This was a surgical action deep in Syria, target destroyed".

Separately, Iran issued a joint statement alongside the other main allies of the Syrian regime - Russian Federation and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah - denying the allegations regarding the drone.

The Russian foreign ministry called for "restraint" from all parties.

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