Iranian Drone, a Downed Israeli Jet, and a Massive Israeli Retaliatory Strike

 In Foreign

An Iranian drone penetrated Israeli airspace on Saturday morning and was shot down by an Israeli helicopter. Israel responded by bombing the Syrian launch site. One F-16 Israeli jet was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft fire and crashed in Northern Israel. The pilots ejected, but both were injured. Israel responded by bombing several other Syrian and Iranian military sites.

Tensions escalate

An Israeli helicopter downed the Iranian drone. This is the footage of that incident:

Soon after the drone incident, Israel launched an airstrike against the Syrian base from which the drone was launched. Syrian anti-aircraft weapons took down an Israeli F-16 jet, forcing it to crash in an open field near Harduf in Northern Israel.

The response was epic: Israel launched a massive strike that was described as the largest air campaign since the Lebanon war in 1982. They “inflicted major damage” on several Syrian sites.

Here’s the timeline, courtesy of an Israeli source on Twitter:

• Iranian drone enters Israel from Syria • IAF shot down drone within 90 seconds • IAF attacks drone command center • Syria downs IAF F-16 Jet • Pilots injured & ejected in Israel • IAF destroys 12 Iranian sites • Iranian soldiers killed

Syria justified the downing of the jet, with Hezbollah and Iran celebrating its demise. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu emphatically told Iran that they would not tolerate Iranian incursions over their territory. Iran, in turn, denied the incursion and issued threats. Syria also issued threats.  Russian President Vladimir Putin and Netanyahu spoke over the phone, with Putin admonishing Netanyahu not to escalate tensions.

Iran has reportedly been attempting to establish a land supply line to Hezbollah from Syria. They have been increasing their influence in Syria, and have been the main backers of Hezbollah since the beginning. Russia backs Assad’s Syrian government.

Given all of that, is this episode over?

Featured photo of Israeli jet crash via Twitter

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