Feb. 10 (UPI) — Israeli military carried out a “large-scale attack” Saturday against the Syrian Aerial Defense System and Iranian targets in Syria after it said Syrian anti-aircraft fire shot down one of its F-16 jets.
Israel Defense Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said in a report by Haaretz that the drone “is in our possession.” The Iranian Foreign Ministry, though, disputed that description of the drone’s downing. Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi called it “so ridiculous.”
Amid a retaliatory bombing run on the area where the drone was launched, two Israeli F-16 pilots ejected as their plane went down in northern Israel. Both were hospitalized — one in stable condition and the other listed in serious condition.
Syrian television said its country’s defense systems hit more than than one Israeli aircraft.
The New York Times reported this appeared to be the first time since the early 1980s that enemy fire downed an Israeli jet.
“This is a serious Iranian attack on Israeli territory,” Manelis said. “Iran is dragging the region into a situation in which it doesn’t know how it will end. We are prepared for a variety of incidents … whoever is responsible for this incident is the one who will pay the price.”
In response to the jet crash, Israel said it attacked 12 additional targets “that are part of Iran’s military establishment in Syria.”
Opposition sources said those targets included a control tower of a Syrian military airfield near Damascus and a weapons …….. read more..http://tinyurl.com/ydfn9zer