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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel

Post  Admin on Thu 22 Feb 2018, 11:30 pm

Russia admits that U.S. airstrike killed Russian citizens in Syria
February 18, 2018
https://www.conservativeinstitute.org/foreign-policy/russia-admits-us-syria.htm?Russia admits that U.S. airstrike killed Russian citizens in Syria
Free Wind 2014 / Shutterstock.com
After pro-regime forces closed in on a U.S.-backed Kurdish base in Syria’s eastern Deir al-Zor province on Feb. 7, the U.S.-led forces took defensive action with an airstrike that reportedly killed over 100 Russian mercenaries.

In a stunning development, Moscow’s Foreign Ministry admitted on Thursday that as many as five “Russian citizens” embedded with soldiers loyal to the Syrian government of Bashar Al Assad may have been killed by the American airstrike. 

“According to preliminary information, we could be talking about the deaths of five people — presumably Russian citizens — as a result of an armed confrontation whose causes are being examined,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters at a press briefing Thursday.

The admission is the first official acknowledgment that American forces have killed Russian nationals in the Syrian theater. 

Slain mercenaries
Zakharova insisted that the slain fighters were not from the Russian armed forces, leading U.S. military officials to speculate that they belonged to a Russian mercenary group.

However, former Pentagon official Mark Simakovsky believes that these private contractors are working in league with Russian military planners. He explained:

The Russians in many areas, including Ukraine, have claimed that their forces are not involved. But it’s a fig leaf, because their forces are involved…[and] have coordination and liaison with Russian intelligence and security forces.

The private Russian security firm Wagner is known to operate with pro-Assad forces in Syria, clandestinely deploying thousands of contract soldiers to the region to fight rebel groups and the remnants of the Islamic State. Russian law formally bans mercenary service, and Moscow has never publicly acknowledged the role of private security operations in the Syrian theater.

Earlier this week, a Reuters report listing the names of two Russian contractors killed in the Deir al-Zor incident likely compelled Moscow officials to acknowledge their deaths in following days. However, sources also told Reuters that “dozens” of other Russian fighters were also killed in the blast, a narrative disputed by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The fog of war
The Pentagon has defended the airstrike, arguing that it was an act of “self-defense…to defeat an unprovoked military attack.” Officials elaborated on the incident, claiming, “The enemy moved in an approximate battalion-sized dismounted formation supported by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars.”

In an attempt to avoid inadvertently eliminating any Russian support elements that were attached to the approaching forces, the U.S.-backed Coalition attempted to contact Russia through a “deconfliction” telephone line to advise them of the unprovoked attack.

Simakovsky believes that both the U.S. and Russia have no interest in either purposefully or inadvertently attacking one another. While their goals in the region are different, the analyst argued that the U.S. “doesn’t want to be killing Russian citizens in Syria. So, I think both sides will be more careful.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Syria in December and signaled his intent to begin sending Russian forces home. However, 2018 has included many setbacks for Moscow, including drone attacks on Russian air bases and the loss of a Russian jet and its pilot earlier this month.

The U.S. coalition is supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) opposed to the Assad regime and the dwindling Islamic State. Approximately 2,000 U.S. service members are present in the country, mostly special forces operators supporting the SDF.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel

Post  Admin on Thu 22 Feb 2018, 2:28 pm

‘Time is now to act against Iran,’ says US national security adviser
 February 18, 2018
‘Time is now to act against Iran,’ says US national security adviserUS National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster (Sven Hoppe/dpa via AP)
“What’s particularly concerning is that this network of proxies is becoming more and more capable,” McMaster said at the Munich Security Conference, adding that the time has come to act.
By: JNS.org
US National Security Adviser Herbert Raymond McMaster warned the international community that the time has come to act against Iranian proxies in the Middle East.
“What’s particularly concerning is that this network of proxies is becoming more and more capable, as Iran seeds more and more… destructive weapons into these networks,” McMaster said at the Munich Security Conference, according to Reuters.
Sounding the alarm on the urgency of halting Iranian efforts across the region, McMaster said, “So the time is now, we think, to act against Iran.”
McMaster accused Iran of planning to use “Hezbollah-style” proxy armies in Iraq and Syria to weaken and destabilize regional Arab governments.
He criticized the international community’s 2015 nuclear accord signed by Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, Germany, and the European Union, saying the world should address “serious flaws in the Iran deal and counter Iran’s destabilizing activities, including its development and proliferation of missiles.” McMaster singled out German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and South Korean investments as helping to fund Iran’s missile program and terror activities in the Middle East.
MORE https://worldisraelnews.com/time-is-now-to-act-against-iran-says-us-national-security-adviser/?


Israel slams Polish PM for saying Jews also perpetrated the Holocaust
 February 17, 2018
Israel slams Polish PM for saying Jews also perpetrated the HolocaustPM Benjamin Netanyahu (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
“The Polish Prime Minister’s remarks here in Munich are outrageous. There is a problem here of an inability to understand history and a lack of sensitivity to the tragedy of our people,” Netanyahu stated regarding Morawiecki’s claim that Jews also perpetrated the Holocaust.
By: AP
Israeli politicians accused Poland’s prime minister of anti-Semitism Saturday for equating the Polish perpetrators in the Holocaust to its supposed “Jewish perpetrators,” setting off a new chapter in an angry dispute over Poland’s new bill criminalizing the mention of Polish complicity in the Nazi-led genocide.
MORE https://worldisraelnews.com/israel-slams-polish-pm-for-outrageous-wwii-jewish-perpetrators-remark/?


WATCH: How a war between Israel and Hezbollah would play out
 February 18, 2018
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Dr. Martin Sherman, founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, describes how he believes a war between Israel and Hezbollah would play out, saying that what is required is a show of force against Iran and its proxies.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=cIbXYIL4Wes
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel

Post  Admin on Thu 22 Feb 2018, 2:16 pm

Assad regime assault kills more than 100 in Syria
https://worldisraelnews.com/assad-regime-assault-kills-100-syria/? February 20, 2018
Assad regime assault kills more than 100 in SyriaThe war in Syria. (AP/Hussein Malla)
Syrian government forces shelled rebel-held Damascus suburbs, killing nearly 130 people in two days.
By: Associated Press
Intense Syrian government shelling and airstrikes on rebel-held Damascus suburbs killed nearly 130 people in two days, marking some of the deadliest bombardment of the rebellious region in three years, a monitoring group and paramedics said Tuesday.
Retaliatory shells rained down on Damascus, killing at least eight people and causing panic among residents of the Syrian capital, seat of President Bashar Assad’s power.
The violence in the capital and nearby areas came as scores of pro-government gunmen began entering the northern Kurdish enclave of Afrin. Turkish troops shelled the areas shortly after the fighters entered the area, forcing journalists to flee. Turkish state media reported the pro-government forces then fell back 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Afrin city.
The targeted suburbs — scattered across an area known as eastern Ghouta — have been subjected to weeks-long bombardment that has killed and wounded hundreds of people. Opposition activists say government forces have brought in more reinforcements in recent days, suggesting a major assault is imminent to recapture the area that is the last main rebel stronghold near Damascus.
The area that has been under tight siege since last year is home to some 400,000 people as well as thousands of insurgents belonging to different factions. The most powerful are the ultraconservative Army of Islam and Failaq al-Rahman with a small presence of al-Qaida-linked fighters.
Pulling the injured from the rubble
Videos from the eastern suburbs showed paramedics pulling out the injured from under the rubble while others are seen frantically digging through the debris in the dark, in search for survivors.
Monday’s bombardment that killed nearly 100 people saw the use of warplanes, helicopter gunships, missiles as well as artillery, in a major escalation of violence near President Bashar Assad’s seat of power.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was the deadliest days in eastern Ghouta since 2015, adding that 20 children and 15 women were among those killed.
The opposition-affiliated Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets, said the shelling and airstrikes killed 98 and that some people are still under the rubble. It said the dead included one of the rescue group’s members, Firas Jomaa.
Both the Observatory and the White Helmets reported more airstrikes and shelling on Tuesday in eastern Ghouta as rebels pounded Damascus with mortar shells. The White Helmets reported 15 deaths on Tuesday while the Observatory said 23 people were killed.
The Observatory said the “crazy shelling” appears to be paving the way for a wide ground offensive on eastern Ghouta. If captured by government forces it would be another major victory for Assad since the conflict began seven years ago.
Rebels retaliated by hitting some Damascus neighborhoods with mortar shells, killing eight persons, including three children, and wounding 15 people, according to the state news agency SANA. On Tuesday morning, Damascus residents reported shelling of areas in central Damascus.
“Shells are falling like rain. We are hiding in the corridor,” a Damascus resident told The Associated Press, asking that her name not be mentioned for her own safety. She spoke while hiding in the corridor of an office building.
‘A bloody day’
“It’s a bloody day,” said Abdelrahman Shahin, a 31-year-old resident of Damascus who was walking on the street when a shell landed on a nearby taxi, killing the driver and a passenger in front of his eyes.
“They both died,” he said, visibly shaken. “The driver was out for his livelihood, his family will be waiting for him,” he said.
Syrian state TV later reported live from the streets of Damascus to show what it called the people’s “steadfastness” despite the shelling. The TV reporter said residents expressed hope that the Syrian army would retake eastern Ghouta.
Army of Islam official Mohammed Alloush and Nasr al-Hariri, who heads the committee that represents the Syrian opposition, described what is happening in eastern Ghouta as a new “Holocaust” committed by the government and its backers Iran and Russia.
The U.N. envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura decried a recent upsurge in violence, expressing concerns that eastern Ghouta could fall victim to widespread bloodshed like that in northern Aleppo more than a year ago. Assad’s forces captured Aleppo in December 2016 in his biggest victory since the conflict began in March 2011.
“Bottom line: if we have learned something from Aleppo, (it’s) time to actually avoid all this,” de Mistura said.
The U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, issued a one-page statement of protest against the killings and carried a headline, saying: “Do those inflicting the suffering still have words to justify their barbaric acts?”
The headline was followed by a blank space underneath. UNICEF said it issued this blank statement because “we no longer have the words to describe children’s suffering and our outrage.”
The International Committee of the Red Cross also issued a statement saying that “this cannot go on.” It added that “distressing reports” of dozens injured and killed every day in eastern Ghouta with “families trapped, with no safe place to hide from shelling. Dozens of mortars in Damascus cause civilian casualties and spread fear. We cannot let history repeat itself.”
“The humanitarian situation of civilians in East Ghouta is spiraling out of control,” said Panos Moumtzis, the U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, in a statement late Monday.
“It’s imperative to end this senseless human suffering now. Such targeting of innocent civilians and infrastructure must stop now,” he said.
In northern Syria, Syrian state TV reported that Turkish troops shelled the entrance of the northern Kurdish enclave of Afrin shortly after scores of pro-government fighters entered the area. The TV showed shells falling in an area where journalists gathered Tuesday afternoon forcing some of them to flee the area.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel

Post  Admin on Wed 21 Feb 2018, 11:49 pm

Israel, Iran Face Off in Munich Over the Future of the Middle East
Feb 19, 2018 | 0  |     
Israel, Iran Face Off in Munich Over the Future of the Middle East
In the latest confrontation between Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif faced off at a global security summit in Munich, Germany. During his remarks, Netanyahu held up a piece of an Iranian drone shot down over Israel just last week.
“Iran also denies that it committed an act of aggression against Israel last week, that it sent a drone into our airspace to threaten our people. Well, here is a piece of that Iranian drone or what’s left of it after we shot it down. I brought it here so you can see for yourself,” he said. “Mr. Zarif, do you recognize this? You should, it’s yours. You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran – do not test Israel’s resolve.” 
READ MORE http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/israel/2018/february/israel-iran-face-off-in-munich-over-the-future-of-the-middle-east


Israel, Iran Face-Off in Munich Over the Future of the Middle East
02-19-2018
Chris Mitchell
JERUSALEM, Israel – In the latest confrontation between Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif faced off at a global security summit in Munich, Germany.
During his remarks, Netanyahu held up a piece of an Iranian drone shot down over Israel just last week.


"Iran also denies that it committed an act of aggression against Israel last week, that it sent a drone into our airspace to threaten our people. Well, here is a piece of that Iranian drone or what's left of it after we shot it down. I brought it here so you can see for yourself," he said. "Mr. Zarif, do you recognize this? You should, it's yours. You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran – do not test Israel's resolve."
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Zarif brushed off Netanyahu's claim.
"You were the audience for a cartoonish circus just this morning, which does not even deserve the dignity of a response," said Zarif, who represented Iran during negotiations over the Iranian nuclear deal, signed in July 2015.
He also denied that Iran wants to dominate the Middle East.
"Iran believes that our security in the Persian Gulf requires a fresh regional security architecture. We believe in, and have proposed, creating what we call a strong region rather than a strong man in the region," Zarif said. "And you've got to notice the difference. We want a strong region; we do not want to be the hegemon in the region as we believe the era of hegemony is long passed."
 
But Netanyahu reiterated what he and others believe is Iran's goal to dominate the region.
"And nowhere are Iran's belligerent ambitions clearer than in Syria. There Iran hopes to complete a contiguous empire linking Tehran to Tartous, the Caspian to the Mediterranean," Netanyahu explained. "For some time I've been warning about this development. I've made clear in word and deed that Israel has red lines it will enforce. Israel will continue to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military presence in Syria. Israel will continue to act to prevent Iran from establishing another terror base from which to threaten Israel.


Netanyahu reminded ministers from around the world of history's lesson when Britain's Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Agreement appeasing Adolph Hitler, which led to World War II.
"And 80 years ago another event took place here with far-ranging consequences. A disastrous agreement was signed here that set the world on a course toward history's most horrific war. Two decades after World War 1, two decades after a war that claimed 16 million lives, the leaders who met in Munich chose to appease Hitler's regime rather than confront it."
The US-led Iranian nuclear deal, signed in July 2015 by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, UK, Russia, France, China) plus Germany, lifted economic sanctions in exchange for Iran imposing limitations to its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel

Post  Admin on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 10:46 am

Putin warns Israel to be careful on further strikes in Syria
February 12, 2018
https://www.conservativeinstitute.org/foreign-policy/iran/putin-warns-israel-syria.htm?
Putin warns Israel to be careful on further strikes in Syria
Slavko Sereda / Shutterstock.com
Vladimir Putin warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday that Israel must avoid provoking further tensions in Syria.

His demand followed an afternoon of Israeli airstrikes on targets in Syria prompted by the loss of an Israeli plane to Syrian anti-aircraft fire, the first time an Israeli plane has been shot down since 1982.

Putin obviously has a vested interest in making excuses for Iran, but the Russians can’t expect Israel to watch Iran entrench its position in Syria, funnel guns to Hezbollah, and harass Israel from across the border with impunity. If Russia wants to escalate the situation, that’s on them. In that case, it might not be long before hostilities commence.

Putin to Israel: Be careful
A phone call between Putin and Netanyahu Saturday brought Israel and Iran back from the brink of war following an afternoon of Israeli airstrikes on Syrian and Iranian targets set off by the downing of an Israeli plane.

Israel had already carried out two bombing raids when Putin and Netanyahu agreed to end the hostilities. Putin warned Netanyahu to avoid taking any action that could lead to “a new round of dangerous consequences for the region.”

In effect, Putin laid the blame on Israel for defending its own interests — despite Russia’s partner, Iran, starting the conflict.

While initially urging “all parties” to exercise caution earlier Saturday, Russia clearly sided with Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah in calling for Israel to respect Syrian sovereignty.

“We urge all parties involved to exercise restraint and to avoid any actions that could lead to an even greater complication of the situation. We consider it necessary to unconditionally respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other countries of the region. It is absolutely unacceptable to create threats to the lives and security of Russian servicemen who are in Syria at the invitation of its legitimate government to assist in the fight against terrorists,” Russia’s foreign ministry said Saturday afternoon.

Netanyahu told Putin that Israel would defend itself from aggression and would fight Iranian entrenchment “in Syria or anywhere else.”

The Russians also said that military advisers stationed in Syria had been endangered by Israeli bombardments over the weekend.

“The creation of any threat to the lives and safety of Russian military servicemen currently in Syria on the invitation of its lawful government to help fight terrorists is absolutely unacceptable,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Israel has a right to retaliate
Putin is blaming Israel for defending its sovereignty against unprovoked incursions.

The chain of events began Saturday when an Iranian drone sailed into Israeli airspace. The drone was shot down by an Israeli helicopter, prompting an Israeli raid on the Syrian airbase that launched the drone. Syrian anti-aircraft fire then brought down an Israeli plane on its return flight, the first time an Israeli plane was brought down by enemy fire since the 1982 Lebanon War.

Given Russia’s support of Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian regime, it doesn’t make sense for Putin to blame his own allies. But he can’t expect Israel to sit back and do nothing when harassed.

Israel made it clear that it wouldn’t accept unprovoked hostilities with the weekend’s round of airstrikes, which killed six.

“Yesterday we dealt severe blows to the Iranian and Syrian forces,” Netanyahu said Sunday. “We made it unequivocally clear to everyone that our rules of action have not changed one bit. We will continue to strike at every attempt to strike at us. This has been our policy and it will remain our policy.”

Netanyahu warned on Saturday that Israel would not tolerate Iran’s growing presence in Syria, given Iran’s hostility to Israel and its support of Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Lebanon terror group that vows to destroy Israel. Israel has expressed worries that an entrenched position in Syria will enable Iran to more easily funnel weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon and harass Israel across the border.

This weekend’s stand-off confirms what Israel has long suspected about Iran’s involvement in Syria.

Instead of blaming Israel, Russia should use its influence with the Assad regime, and Iran, to prevent further provocations.


Three powerful Democrat congressmen held secret meeting with Iranian president
https://www.conservativeinstitute.org/national-security/democrat-congressmen-secret-meeting.htm?
February 11, 2018

Three powerful Democrat congressmen held secret meeting with Iranian president
Friscocali / CCL
Democrats are not exactly known for keeping the best company, and a bombshell revelation in a report by The Wall Street Journal underscores the hateful ideology present within the party’s ultra-left fringe.

Three Democrat congressmen from the Congressional Black Caucus reportedly attended a private dinner party hosted by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in 2013 — and they were inexplicably accompanied by Nation of Islam black nationalist and outspoken anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.

Dining with the enemy
Democrat Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Andre Carson of Indiana, and Gregory Meeks of New York met with the leader of the top state sponsor of terrorism, according to the same government that these politicians claim to represent. The dinner date occurred just hours after Rouhani addressed the United Nations General Assembly to declare his nation’s “right to nuclear enrichment,” before slamming the U.S. and Israel for a multitude of imagined offenses.

While a prominent Nation of Islam publication celebrated the 2013 event featuring their controversial leader, most Americans remained ignorant of the event until the Journal’s Friday report explicitly named the Democrat attendees.

Months after this dinner party, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, the highest authority in the Islamic Republic, provided a nine-point plan for the destruction of Israel, which included arming Palestinian citizens and normalizing rocket attacks on Israeli citizens. Given Iran’s historical commitment to the elimination of Israel, the invitation of an unapologetic anti-Semite like Farrakhan makes sense.

The Nation of Islam is so extreme in their hatred for white Americans and Jewish people that even the far-left leaning Southern Poverty Law Center identifies the Farrakhan-led organization as a hate group for its “theology of innate black superiority over whites and the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders.”

As recently as an appearance at a 2017 Saviours’ Day event, Farrakhan argued that modern Jewish people are “not really Jews but are in fact Satan.” They are “great and master deceiver[s],” he said, and encouraged his followers to consider them “the enemy of God and the enemy of the righteous.”

Friends in low places
Yet, this was the representative that Democrats felt comfortable associating with in the presence of Israel’s number one regional rival. Ellison failed to mention this dinner party when he campaigned for the Democratic National Committee chair in 2017, insisting that his only ties to Farrakhan were limited to the 1995 Million Man March.

Farrakhan disputed Ellison’s attempt to distance himself from the Nation of Islam, insisting that Ellison and Carson visited him in 2015.

However, Ellison is by no means the highest ranking Democrat with undeniable ties to the racist reverend. The Congressional Black Caucus held a secret meeting with Farrakhan in 2005, an event where then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama can be seen in a photo grinning while standing beside the polarizing Farrakhan.

View image on Twitter
 
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The Nation of Islam photographer who snapped the damaging photo agreed to keep it secret until long after Obama’s political career was over. The 21 other current members of the Congressional Black Caucus who attended the 2005 event with Farrakhan were unwilling to denounce the reverend when The Daily Caller contacted them.

The fact that Democrats would find it appropriate to attend an Iranian dinner party with a hateful anti-Semite is more than troublesome.

Just two years later, Obama signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — was this meeting an early sign of Obama’s commitment to passing the Iran nuclear deal?

The world may never know.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel

Post  Admin on Mon 12 Feb 2018, 11:07 pm

https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-may-need-to-alter-its-syrian-air-strategy-but-not-because-of-a-downed-f-16/?utm_source=idf-may-need-to-alter-its-syrian-air-strategy-but-not-because-of-a-downed-f-16&utm_medium=desktop-browser&utm_campaign=desktop-notifications
IDF may need to alter its Syrian air strategy, but not because of a downed F-16
Army, analysts agree: Israeli aerial superiority shouldn't be in question because one plane got shot down -- but Russia's reaction to this weekend's events is a different matter
Judah Ari Gross
By JUDAH ARI GROSS
Today, 4:57 pm 2
In this image made from video provided by Yehunda Pinto, the wreckage of an Israeli F-16 is seen on fire near Harduf, northern Israel, February 10, 2018. (Yehunda Pinto via AP)
The apparent downing of an Israeli F-16 fighter jet by Syrian air defenses was an enormous public relations win for dictator Bashar Assad and his allies Iran and Hezbollah.

One intrepid videographer even managed to reach the scene and get footage of the plane still burning after the crash, giving them a “victory picture.”

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In Israel, the downed F-16 prompted widespread hand-wringing and discussions about whether or not the Jewish state still maintains air superiority in the region.

So first, let’s be clear: It doesn’t.

Israel hasn’t had true air superiority in the region since late 2015, when Russia decided to install an S-400 missile defense battery in Syria powerful enough to track the vast majority of Israeli airspace.


S-400 Triumf missile defense system at the Russian Hmeimin military base in Latakia province, in the northwest of Syria, on December 16, 2015. (Paul Gypteau/AFP)
Since then, Israel has effectively been operating in Syria by the grace of Moscow.

“A fly can’t buzz above Syria without Russian consent nowadays,” an Israeli defense official told the International Crisis Group think tank after the S-400 was installed.

Still, Israeli officials insist that the military is prepared to act with or without Russia’s tacit approval — but more on that later.

The F-16 was shot down on Saturday morning after it and seven other fighter jets took part in an airstrike on the T-4 military base near Palmyra in central Syria, from which the IDF says an Iranian operator flew an Iranian drone into Israeli territory an hour earlier.

The downing of the F-16 might have ended a false notion of the Israeli Air Force’s invincibility, but it does not have serious negative consequences for Israel’s aerial dominance, experts say.


View of the remains of an F-16 plane that crashed near Kibbutz Harduf on February 10, 2018. (Anat Hermony/Flash90)
Far more serious is the potential for Russia to end the policy it has maintained until now of not taking direct action against Israeli planes conducting airstrikes against targets in Syria.

Let’s keep it in proportion. The important thing is that an hour after this plane fell, we went out and destroyed about half of Syria’s air defenses

The Israeli military does not see the downing of the F-16 as the disastrous loss it’s being painted as and still considers itself as having aerial superiority, though it does recognize it as a “significant event,” IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told The Times of Israel on Monday.

“Yes, a plane was shot down,” he said. “But let’s keep it in proportion. The important thing is that an hour after this plane fell, we went out and destroyed about half of Syria’s air defenses.”

Conricus clarified that the army was still working out its assessments of exactly what percentage of the Syrian air defenses were destroyed, saying it could be between a third and a half.

“It was a respectable percentage, a serious blow to Syrian anti-aircraft capabilities. We’ll only know for sure if we ever have to attack again,” he said.

How it came down
The initial assessments of the event indicate that the plane was brought down while flying over Israel after a large volley of anti-aircraft missiles — at least five, but possibly more — were fired at it, Conricus said.

The army said it was still investigating if the plane was brought down because it was operating at a high altitude to ensure its bombs were hitting their targets, which made it easier for Syrian air defenses to spot and fire at it, and failed to react quickly enough, as was reported in Israeli media outlets on Sunday.

Conricus said the initial investigation should be completed shortly, after reviewing the evidence and speaking with the flight crew.

There are many levels of protection for a plane during a mission: intelligence, electronic [warfare], the flight team itself. We’re going to go level by level to find out what happened

On Monday, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily also reported that another fighter jet was also targeted by the Syrian anti-aircraft missiles in the same barrage but managed to escape.

It therefore does not appear to be the result of any kind of new Syria capability or unknown Israeli vulnerability, but some combination of human error, lucky timing and, perhaps, a degree of hubris by the flight team.

“There’s no [new] issue that we hadn’t previously identified. We operate in Syria continuously, conducting thousands of missions in Syria in just the last year,” Brig. Gen. Amnon Ein Dar, head of the air force’s Training and Doctrine Division, told the Ynet news site, referring to both airstrikes and far more common reconnaissance operations.

“There are many levels of protection for a plane during a mission: intelligence, electronic [warfare], the flight team itself. We’re going to go level by level to find out what happened,” said Ein Dar.

Dominance in the air battle
Regardless of the exact cause of the F-16’s destruction, one event is not what determines air superiority, according to Yiftah Shapir, a former air force officer and analyst on quantitative military balance who has written on the concept.


An Israeli Air Force F-16C takes off during the Blue Flag air exercise at the Ovda air force base, north of the Israeli city of Eilat, on November 8, 2017. (Jack Guez/AFP)
Air superiority is defined by NATO as “that degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea and air forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force.”

As a result, Shapir said on Monday, “You never look at one lone case. You calculate the possibilities. If X air defense can bring down this or that many airplanes, then you can say if it’s prohibitive or not.”

Those equations don’t change because of one airplane, said Shapir, a senior research fellow at Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies.

It doesn’t mean anything about our air superiority. You can have superiority and you can win, while still losing people

Lt. Col. (res.) Reuven Ben-Shalom, a former IAF pilot and current analyst, was even more direct.

“It doesn’t mean anything about our air superiority. You can have superiority and you can win, while still losing people,” he said.

Ben-Shalom described the downing of an F-16, sinking of a ship or destruction of a tank as simply the cost of waging war, though he said it’s not one the Israeli public is used to paying.

“It is a matter of perception by the Israeli public and by our enemies. Don’t get me wrong, perception is important, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect reality,” he said.

The issue, according to Ben-Shalom and Shapir, is in part that the Israeli Air Force has been too good in recent years, leading to unrealistic expectations.

“It is nothing short of a wonder that in the operations in Gaza [terrorist groups] haven’t been able to take a fleck of paint off our aircraft,” Shapir said, noting that these groups have shoulder-fired missiles and other weapons that could feasibly hit an Israeli helicopter or low-flying plane.

According to Ben-Shalom, who runs a strategy firm, these victories have made “us used to acting freely and nothing happening.”

Even air superiority’s more advance form, air supremacy, in which the military has total control of the skies, is not challenged by one aircraft getting shot down.


The canopy, ejection seat, pilot’s helmet and survival gear from an American F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter jet that was shot down by the Serb military in the Kosovo war on March 27, 1999. (Marko M/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0)
The United States, for example, is still considered to have maintained air supremacy over the Serb military in the Kosovo war, despite a F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter jet getting shot down by an obsolete SA-3 anti-aircraft system in 1999.

“The Americans don’t make such a big deal out of it when you lose an aircraft because that’s the nature of war,” Ben-Shalom said.

Notably, the last time Shapir said Israel had air supremacy in the region was also the last time the Israeli Air Force had aircraft shot down: in 1982, when two helicopters and an A-4 Skyhawk fighter jet were brought down by Syrian air defenses.

The Russian complication
While the downing of the F-16 might not indicate a change in Israeli air dominance, it is not yet fully clear what impact this weekend will have on the air force’s freedom of operation in Syria.

On the one hand, the air force’s destruction of a large percentage of Syria’s air defense would indicate that Israel could operate more freely in the country in the future.

The serious blow to the Syrian anti-aircraft systems, which air force officials say was the most significant of its kind since 1982, was also meant to send a message to Assad of what’s to come if he again fires on Israeli aircraft. If that was internalized by the despot, this too could smooth the way for future Israeli missions in Syria.


Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, November 20, 2017. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Kremlin via AP)
But on the other hand, there is rising concern over how Russia — by whose grace Israeli pilots are currently flying — will react to its ally, Assad, getting pummeled by Israel.

Moscow, which has not accepted Israel’s claims, could make its efforts more difficult, risky and complicated, Ben-Shalom said, though he is convinced that Israel could get by even if Russia took a more antagonistic view.

According to Shapir, the problem is not the capabilities of Russia’s S-400 themselves, but that Israel would rather not go to direct war by attempting to disable the system, which it might be more inclined to do if it belonged to another country.

“[Israel’s freedom of movement] isn’t limited because the system is an S-400, but because it is flying the Russian flag,” he said.

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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel

Post  Admin on Sun 11 Feb 2018, 8:47 pm

Friend or Foe? Why Assad Quietly Aids Syrian Kurds Against Turkey
https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/why-assad-quietly-aids-syrian-kurds-against-turkey-1.5807846?Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces let Kurdish reinforcements reach Afrin
Haaretz and Reuters Feb 11, 2018 12:19 PM
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Turkish artillery fires toward Syrian Kurdish positions in Afrin area, Syria, from Turkish side of the border in Hatay, Turkey, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018
Turkish artillery fires toward Syrian Kurdish positions in Afrin area, Syria, from Turkish side of the border in Hatay, Turkey, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018AP Photo
In first, Israel and Iran are engaged in a head-to-head confrontation in Syria
Non-Syrian nationals killed in Saturday's Israeli airstrikes in Syria
Skipping Israel, U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson embarks on Middle East visit
Syria's U.S.-backed Kurds are getting indirect help from an unlikely source in their war against Turkey in the northwestern region of Afrin: President Bashar Assad.

In a country currenlty engulfed by multiple conflicts - with Israel trying to blunt Iranian influence, Russia attempting to build a premanent presence and NATO allies Turkey and the U.S. on a collision course in the northwest - Assad's aid to the Kurds is just the latest bizarre turn in a complicated conflict.

Pro-government forces and Kurdish-led forces have fought each other elsewhere in Syria and Damascus opposes the Kurds' demands for autonomy. But in Afrin they have a common enemy and a mutual interest in blocking Turkish advances.

Turkey, which regards the Kurdish YPG militia in Afrin as a threat on its southern border, launched an assault on the region last month. Seeking to shield Afrin, the Kurds asked Damascus to send forces into action to defend the border.

Maps showing areas of control in Syria, Jan 08 and Feb 05
Maps showing areas of control in Syria, Jan 08 and Feb 05Reuters
The government shows no sign of doing so, but it is providing indirect help by allowing Kurdish fighters, civilians and politicians to reach Afrin through territory it holds, representatives of both sides told Reuters.



Assad stands to gain while doing little.

The arrival of reinforcements is likely to sustain Kurdish resistance, bog down the Turkish forces and prolong a conflict that is sapping the resources of military powers that rival him for control of Syrian territory.

For the United States, it is yet another complication in Syria's seven-year-old war, and a reminder of how its Syrian Kurdish ally must at times make deals with Assad even as it builds military ties with the United States.

Lacking international protection, the Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria say they have reached agreements with Damascus to allow reinforcements to be sent to Afrin from other Kurdish-dominated areas -- Kobani and the Jazeera region.

"There are different ways to get reinforcements to Afrin but the fundamental route is via regime forces. There are understandings between the two forces ... for the sake of delivering reinforcements to Afrin," Kino Gabriel, spokesman for the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said.

While the Kurds depend on Assad to reach Afrin, Kurdish sources say they also enjoy leverage over Damascus because it needs their cooperation to source grain and oil from areas of the northeast under Kurdish control.

A commander in the military alliance fighting in support of Assad said "the Kurds have no option but coordination with the regime" to defend Afrin.

"The Syrian regime is helping the Kurds with humanitarian support and some logistics, like turning a blind eye and allowing Kurdish support to reach some fronts," said the commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Turkish campaign moves slowly

The Turkish military is making slow gains nearly three weeks into the operation it calls "Olive Branch".

Ankara views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought a three-decade insurgency in Turkey and is regarded as a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union.

The United States has relied on the YPG as a vital ground component of its war against Islamic State, and has backed the group in other Kurdish-run regions in northern Syria along the border with Turkey.

But U.S. forces are not in Afrin, so have been unable to shield Afrin from the attack by Turkey, its NATO ally.

The Kurds meanwhile accuse Russia of giving a green light for the Turkish attack by withdrawing observers it deployed in Afrin last year.

The Afrin war marks another twist in the complicated story of relations between Assad and the Syrian Kurdish groups, spearheaded by the YPG, that have carved out autonomous regions in northern Syria since the war began in 2011.

The YPG controls nearly all of Syria's frontier with Turkey. But Afrin is separated from the bigger Kurdish-controlled region further east by a 100 km-wide zone controlled by the Turkish military and its Syrian militia allies.

For much of the war, Damascus and the YPG have avoided confrontation, at times fighting common enemies, including the rebel groups that are now helping Turkey attack Afrin.

But tensions have mounted in recent months, with Damascus threatening to march into parts of eastern and northern Syria captured by the SDF with support from the U.S.-led coalition.

Underlining that, pro-Syrian government forces attacked the SDF in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, drawing coalition air strikes overnight that killed more than 100 of the attackers, the coalition said.

"The regime has allowed the YPG to bring people into Afrin, while attacking it east of Euphrates (River). I think that is indicative of the state of relations right," said Noah Bonsey, International Crisis Group's Senior Analyst on Syria.

He added: "There is still a significant gap between the YPG and regime positions on the future of northeastern Syria."

Fighting for Afrin

The main Syrian Kurdish groups remain wedded to their vision of a Syria where they enjoy autonomy in a form of federalism that is at odds with Assad's determination to recover all Syria.

Each side has allowed the other to maintain footholds in its territory. In Kurdish-held Qamishli, the government still controls the airport. In the Sheikh Maqsoud district of Aleppo, a government city, Kurdish security forces patrol the streets.

Scores of Kurds from Sheikh Maqsoud have gone to Afrin to support the fight, Kurdish officials there said. The short journey requires movement through areas held by the government or its Iran-backed Shi'ite militia allies.

"Of course people went from Sheikh Maqsoud - in the hundreds - to bear arms and defend Afrin," said Badran Himo, a Kurdish official from Sheikh Maqsoud.

"Around 10 of them were martyred (killed)," he told Reuters as Kurdish security forces held a rally to commemorate one of the dead.

Earlier this week, witnesses say a civilian convoy of hundreds of cars drove to Afrin from other Kurdish-held areas in a show of solidarity.

The Syrian government has ignored appeals by the Kurdish authorities to guard the Syrian border at Afrin.

"We tried to convince them, via the Russians, to at least protect the borders, to take a position, but we did not reach (get?) a result," Aldar Khalil, a top Kurdish politician, told Reuters.

"If they don't protect the borders, then at least they don't have the right to block the way for Syrian patriots who are protecting these borders, regardless of other domestic issues."
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel

Post  Admin on Sun 11 Feb 2018, 3:11 pm

Syrians fire at Israeli drone in Golan Heights, hit Druze village
https://worldisraelnews.com/syrians-fire-israeli-drone-golan-heights-hit-druze-village/?
February 8, 2018
Syrians fire at Israeli drone in Golan Heights, hit Druze villageTown adjacent to the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights. (Andrew McIntire/TPS)
A house in the Druze village of Majdal Shams was hit by gunfire from Syria, the IDF said Thursday.
By: TPS
According to the IDF, damage to the house in Majdam Shams was reported but there were no injuries. The IDF statement noted that the house was hit when shots were fired at an Israeli drone.
Bajat Abu Jabal, a resident of Majdal Shams, said her daughter’s home was hit by shrapnel.
“The gunfire hit my daughter’s house,” Abu Jabal said. “She was alone with her two children, aged three and four. Of course, the children were very frightened cried a lot after the strike – their house is 20 meters from the border. There are always hits there. There was no damage. We hope for peace to come soon.”
Reports suggested the UAV was a Skyrider military drone on an inteligence gathering mission.
The Syrian civil war has placed residents of Israel’s northern-most town, located on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon along the international border with Syria, in a complicated situation. Many people say they consider themselves Syrian, rather than Israeli, and nearly everybody in town has close family across the border. The fighting is easily, and often, audible from the center of town, so much so that one mother told this reporter in 2013 that her children could distinguish different types of weapons by the screeches of the bullets they heard.
However, Druze Israelis in other areas of the country have told this reporter that Golan Heights residents find themselves in a complicated position because they fear that international pressure could one day force Israel to withdraw from the area, leaving them at the mercy of the notoriously brutal Assad regime.


WATCH: US-led forces kill 100 pro-Assad fighters in Syria
February 8, 2018
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More than 100 fighters aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have been killed in US-led coalition air and artillery strikes on pro-regime forces.
US-led forces kill 100 pro-Assad fighters
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cuyC3K78jQ


US strikes Syrian forces; Assad regime says US ‘supports terrorism’
https://worldisraelnews.com/us-strikes-syrian-forces-assad-regime-says-us-supports-terrorism/?
February 8, 2018
US strikes Syrian forces; Assad regime says US ‘supports terrorism’An airstrike in Syria. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)
Syrian state-run media said Thursday a rare U.S. strike on government-backed troops in eastern Syria killed and wounded dozens of tribal fighters, calling it a new effort “to support terrorism.”
By: Associated Press
The U.S.-led coalition said its action was in “self-defense,” citing a major attack on its allied forces and U.S. advisers in Deir el-Zour province by at least 500 fighters, battle tanks, howitzers and mortars.
The overnight attack, which a U.S. military official earlier said killed about 100 of the attackers, added another layer to the Syrian conflict that is once again plunging into a new and unpredictable spiral of violence.
The attack in Deir el-Zour province in northeastern Syria occurred in crowded battle space. A stronghold of Islamic State militants until late last year, the province also was the group’s main source of oil revenue. U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces have been fighting for control of Deir el-Zour with rival Russian-backed Syrian troops that are reinforced by Iranian-supported militias.
The U.S.-backed forces control areas east of the Euphrates River and most of the oil and gas fields, while government forces are based in the west. Previous friction was reported before, but Wednesday’s incident appeared to be the largest since last year. The IS militants have been dispersed in the province, which also has a number of U.S. bases.
In an email Thursday to The Associated Press, Col. Thomas F. Veale said the coalition reported to the Russians the buildup of the pro-government forces in the area before the attack, and communicated with them during and after it. The Russian officials offered assurances that they would not engage the coalition forces in the area, Veale said.
“Pro-regime forces initiated hostilities with artillery pieces (howitzers). Additionally, Syrian pro-regime forces maneuvered T-55 and T-72 main battle tanks with supporting mortar fire in what appears to be a coordinated attack on Syrian Democratic Forces approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles) east of the Euphrates River de-confliction line in Khusham, Syria,” Veale said.
By crossing the river, the pro-government forces would have violated the existing de-confliction agreement between Washington and Moscow, approaching U.S.-backed forces based near an oil field in the area. Russia is the main ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Asked if Russia was responsible for not stopping the attack, Veale said: “The de-confliction effort has served its purpose. Just as the coalition does not direct the operations of the SDF, the Russians do not direct operations of the Syrian regime.”
Veale said they suspect the Syrian pro-government forces were trying to seize terrain from the U.S.-backed forces liberated from IS militants last year, including major oil fields in the area.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the U.S. airstrike wounded 25 pro-Syrian volunteers. It alleged that the incident showed that Washington was not interested in fighting Islamic militants but wanted “to seize and hold Syrian economic assets.”
Syria’s state media said the coalition bombed government-backed troops in Khusham, describing them as tribal fighters. The media cited reports of dozens killed and wounded.
The official state news agency SANA said the local fighters were battling IS militants and the U.S.-backed SDF in the area.
SANA labeled it an “aggression” and a “new massacre.”
The head of the SDF unit in the area, Ahmed Abu Khawla, told AP the attackers were government-backed local militias known as the National Defense Forces. He said they started the attack near oil fields on the east side of the Euphrates.
“It was a little bit stronger than the usual clashes in the area. Everyone is back to their bases,” said Abu Khawla, the head of the Deir el-Zour Military Council. “It is now normal.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war, said Deir el-Zour province continues to be tense following the foiled attack and the U.S. response, and said there were reports of a new mobilization to the area.
The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists in Syria, said the Khusham area, near one of the province’s largest oil fields, saw intense clashes with heavy weaponry late Wednesday between pro-Assad forces and the SDF
The clashes prompted the coalition response with land-to-land missiles and airstrikes, the Observatory said. It added that at least 45 pro-government troops, including Arab and Asian fighters, were killed.
Last summer, the coalition shot down Iranian-made armed drones and aircraft affiliated with the Syrian government in southern Syria, after they came dangerously close to U.S-backed forces and advisers.
The U.S. airstrike coincides with escalating violence in Syria.
Turkey, a NATO member, has been carrying out a military offensive to clear a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia from a northwestern border town, increasing tensions between Washington and Ankara.
The Syrian government also has been pressing its campaign against a rebel-held area near the capital of Damascus. On Thursday, the Syrian Civil Defense, known as the White Helmets, said 35 people were killed in a number of towns in the eastern Ghouta area, which has been pummeled by a combination of artillery and airstrikes.
Activists have recorded at least 169 killed since Monday in eastern Ghouta.
Meanwhile, Turkish officials said the leaders of Turkey, Russia and Iran will meet in Istanbul to discuss peace efforts for Syria.
The officials said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to the summit in a telephone call Thursday. It was not immediately clear when the Istanbul meeting would take place.
The Turkish officials said the two also agreed that efforts to create “observation posts” in Syria’s Idlib province as part of a de-escalation agreement among Turkey, Russia and Iran should gain momentum. Turkey already has deployed troops in Idlib to such posts, and some of its soldiers have come under attack.
They also discussed the humanitarian situation in the Ghouta region.
The officials provided the information on condition of anonymity in line with government rules.


Israeli fighter jets attack Syria, largest since 1982; Israeli F-16 downed
February 10, 2018
Israeli fighter jets attack Syria, largest since 1982; Israeli F-16 downedIAF strikes Iranian targets in Syria. (Youtube/Screenshot)
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Responding to a barrage of Iranian anti-aircraft missiles launched from Syria over Israeli territory, the IAF carried out the largest air strike since the First Lebanon War in 1982.
By: TPS and World Israel News Staff
Israeli fighter planes conducted the largest strike on Syria since the First Lebanon War on Saturday morning, hitting a mobile Iranian control center that had sent a drone into Israeli airspace and then striking 12 targets in the country.
The incident began in the early hours of Saturday morning when an Iranian UAV was spotted on its way into Israeli airspace and was shot down by an Apache attack helicopter once it reached Israeli territory on the Golan Heights. In response to the Iranian violation of Israeli sovereignty, Israeli Air Force (IAF) jets flew deep into Syria to hit the drone’s launch and control center near Palmyra some 160 kilometers north of Damascus.
As the jets returned home, a barrage of Syrian anti-aircraft missiles fired at the planes as they flew over Israeli territory, causing one F-16 to crash. One of the pilots suffered severe injuries as the result of what doctors described as penetration wounds, suggesting that he may have been hit by shrapnel from an anti-aircraft missile.
In an extensive briefing to military reporters following the incident, IAF Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar said the Israeli attack was the largest since the First Lebanon War in 1982.
“We attacked advanced long-range surface-to-air missiles, components of the [Syrian] air-defense system and various Iranian targets,” Bar said.
“We will not allow Iran to become entrenched in Syria and we will do everything necessary to prevent that,” he stated.
Bar said this was the first time that an Iranian drone, operated by Iranians, had crossed into Israeli territory. He described the drone as having a “low imprint” and challenging to detect. The IAF destroyed the mobile control center as it was on the move inside the T4 airbase and while under fire from surface to air missiles.
‘IAF’s aerial superiority has not been affected’
“The drone is in our hands and we will study it,” Bar said.
“The IAF is prepared for any scenario and any eventuality while continuing to guard Israel’s skies and maintain its freedom of operation,” he continued.
MORE https://worldisraelnews.com/israel-conducts-largest-air-strike-since-first-lebanon-war/?February 11




https://worldisraelnews.com/watch-israel-downs-iranian-drone-strikes-targets-inside-syria
WATCH: Israel Destroys Iranian Drone, Strikes Targets Deep Inside Syria
February 10, 2018
The Israeli Air Force identified and shot down an unmanned Iranian drone operating in Israeli airspace near the border with Syria.
BREAKING NEWS - ISRAEL STRIKES IRANIAN TARGETS IN SYRIA, IAF F-16 CRASHES - Feb. 10, 2018
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ILTV ISRAEL DAILY
Published on 10 Feb 2018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKl5sFcLarg


‘Our warnings were 100% correct,’ Netanyahu says about latest Iranian aggression
https://worldisraelnews.com/warnings-100-correct-netanyahu-says-latest-iranian-aggression/? February 10, 2018
‘Our warnings were 100% correct,’ Netanyahu says about latest Iranian aggressionPM Benjamin Netanyahu (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
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Regarding the latest aggression from Iran, Netanyahu said that “our warnings were 100% correct,” stressing that Israel will continue to protect its sovereignty and security.
By: World Israel News
In response to the landing of an Iranian drone from Syria on Israeli territory Saturday morning, the Israeli Air Force conducted the largest strike on Syria since the First Lebanon War, which included hitting a mobile Iranian control center.
Following the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated: “I have been warning for some time about the dangers of Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria. Iran seeks to use Syrian territory to attack Israel for its professed goal of destroying Israel. This morning Iran brazenly violated Israel’s sovereignty. They dispatched an Iranian drone from Syrian territory into Israel. And this demonstrates that our warnings were 100% correct. Israel holds Iran and its Syrian hosts responsible for today’s aggression. We will continue to do whatever is necessary to protect our sovereignty and our security.”
The Israeli leader also said that he informed Russian President Vladimir Putin of Israel’s determination to continue defending itself against Iranian aggression from Syrian territory. “We agreed the security coordination between our armies will continue,” he said.
Russia backs the Assad regime and maintains a large military presence in the country.
Pentagon supports Israeli response
Netanyahu also discussed the latest developments with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“Israel is our closest security partner in the region and we fully support Israel’s inherent right to defend itself against threats to its territory and its people,” Pentagon spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway stated.
“We share the concerns of many throughout the region that Iran’s destabilizing activities that threaten international peace and security, and we seek greater international resolve in countering Iran’s malign activities,” Rankine-Galloway said.
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Re: Syria-Iran-Israel

Post  Admin on Sat 10 Feb 2018, 1:34 pm

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/latest-israel-syria-escalation-this-is-what-we-know-1.5806653?utm_source=Push_Notification&utm_medium=web_push&utm_campaign=General
Iranian Drone Infiltration, Downed Israeli Fighter Jet: What We Know About Latest Israel-Syria Escalation

Here are the events that transpired on Saturday morning, step by step

Haaretz Feb 10, 2018 11:18 AM
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The remains of an Israeli F-16 that crashed after coming under fire by Syrian air defenses, February 10, 2018.JACK GUEZ/AFP
Israel struggles to draw new red lines in Russia’s Syria playground
Israeli army: This is a serious Iranian attack on our territory
Israel: In new 'large-scale strike,' military bombs 12 Syrian, Iranian targets

■ Iranian drone infiltrates Israeli airspace early Saturday morning

■ Israeli aircraft intercept the Iranian drone

>> The worst escalation between Israel and Iran yet | Analysis

■ Israel bombs Iranian drone control site in Syria in response to infiltration

■ Syrian SA-5 and SA-17 air defense batteries target Israeli F-16 jet, prompting the pilots to eject


■ Two pilots evacuated to hospital, one in serious condition

>> Israel struggles to draw new red lines in Russia’s Syria playground | Analysis

■ Israel responds to downing of jet with a fresh strike, targeting 12 sites in Syria, four of which are Iranian

■ Israeli military says "Syrians and Iranians are playing with fire"

■ Senior Israeli official says Israel views the incidents of the border with "grave severity"

>> Seven comments on escalating Israeli-Iranian game of chicken in Syria | Analysis


■ Sources in Damascus say that downing of Israeli jet was "strategic decision," but Syria has no interest in full-scale war

■ Iran, Hezbollah warn Israel: Next act of aggression will carry 'severe response'
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Syria-Iran-Israel

Post  Admin on Sat 10 Feb 2018, 11:07 am

Israeli Army: This Is a Serious Iranian Attack on Our Territory
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israel-this-is-a-serious-iranian-attack-on-our-territory-1.5806539
Israeli army says prepared for all scenarios after Iranian drone shot down and Israeli strikes in Syria ■ Israeli F-16 downed, pilots safe

Yaniv Kubovich Feb 10, 2018 7:41 AM
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Missile contrails seen in Israel during overnight strike in Syria
Missile contrails seen in Israel during overnight strike in Syria
Israel downs Iranian drone, strikes Syria; Israeli F-16 shot down, pilots safe
Alleged Israeli strike on Syria facility targeted Hezbollah's efforts to enhance missile capabilities
Israeli army spokesman Brigadier General Ronen Manelis said Saturday morning that Iran has carried out "a dangerous attack on Israeli territory" after an Iranian drone was shot down over Israeli territory. According to Manelis, Israel struck deep in Syrian territory, targeting the trailer from which the drone was launched.

skip - strike
IDF has targeted the Iranian control systems in Syria that sent the #UAV into Israeli airspace. Massive Syrian Anti-Air fire, one F16 crashed in Israel, pilots safe. #Iran is responsible for this severe violation of Israeli sovereignty. Event ongoing, more to follow.

— Jonathan Conricus (@LTCJonathan) February 10, 2018
To really understand the Middle East and stay up-to-date, subscribe to Haaretz

According to the Israeli army, Syrian anti-aircraft missiles targeted an Israeli F-16, prompting the pilots to eject. The plane went down in northern Israel. The two pilots were taken to the hospital in stable condition.
Israeli F-16 crash site, today
Syrian anti-aircraft fire triggered rocket sirens in northern Israel, first in the northern Israeli town of Beit She’an and later in the surrounding areas and Golan Heights. "As part of the country's defenses, sirens were activated but there was no danger for the residents of Beit She'an," Manelis said.


The Syrian army and rebels in the Syrian Golan Heights are currently exchanging heavy fire.


Iranian Drone, Downed Israeli Fighter Jet: What We Know About Latest Israel-Syria Escalation
Here are the events that transpired on Saturday morning, step by step


Haaretz Feb 10, 2018 11:18 AM
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/latest-israel-syria-escalation-this-is-what-we-know-1.5806653
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The remains of an Israeli F-16 that crashed after coming under fire by Syrian air defenses, February 10, 2018.JACK GUEZ/AFP
Israel downs Iranian drone, strikes Syria; Israeli F-16 shot down, pilots safe
Israeli army: This is a serious Iranian attack on our territory
Israel: In new 'large-scale strike,' military bombs 12 Syrian, Iranian targets


■ Iranian drone infiltrates Israeli airspace early Saturday morning

■ Israeli jets intercept the Iranian drone

>> The worst escalation between Israel and Iran yet | Analysis


■ Israel bombs Iranian targets in Syria in response to the drone infiltration

■ Syrian air defenses target an Israeli F-16 jet, prompting the pilots to eject

■ Two pilots evacuated to hospital, one in serious condition

■ Israel responds to downing of jet with a fresh strike, targeting 12 sites in Syria, four of which are Iranian


■ Israeli military says "Syrians and Iranians are playing with fire"

■ Senior Israeli official says Israel views the incidents of the border with "grave severity"

■ Sources in Damascus say that downing of Israeli jet was "strategic decision," but Syria has no interest in full-scale war


Haaretz


https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/red-alert-sirens-sound-heavy-aerial-activity-in-northern-israel-1.5806508
Israel Downs Iranian Drone, Strikes Syria; Israeli F-16 Shot Down, Pilots Safe
One pilot in serious condition ■ Israel attacks Syrian, Iranian targets in fresh strike ■ Rocket sirens sound throughout northern Israel

Yaniv Kubovich, Jack Khoury, Noa Landau and Noa Shpigel Feb 10, 2018 8:00 AM
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Israeli F-16 crash site, today
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An Israeli F-16 was downed Saturday morning after Israel intercepted an Iranian drone launched from Syria into Israeli territory. According to the Israeli army, Syrian anti-aircraft missiles targeted the jet after Israel responded to the infiltration of the drone with a strike in Syria.

The two F-16 pilots ejected as the plane went down in northern Israel. The pilots were taken to the hospital in stable condition. One of the pilots is in serious condition. Following the downing of the jet Israel responded with a fresh "large-scale strike" in Syria.


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Early Saturday an Iranian drone was intercepted in Israeli airspace. IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said Israel "identified an Iranian drone drone which took off from Syrian territory. The drone was identified by IAF systems and was downed by an IAF helicopter. The Iranian drone fell in our territory and is in our possession."

In response, the Israeli military struck targets in Syria. Manelis said the targets included the trailer from which "the Iranians launched the drone," adding that, "This was a surgical action deep in Syria, target destroyed."

Missile contrails seen in Israel during overnight strike in Syria

Manelis confirmed that sirens were activated but said civilians were not in danger.

"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."


Rocket sirens sounded for a second time following the downing of the jet. Syrian state TV reported explosions in the Damascus area, calling them new "Israeli aggression."

Shortly afterwards, the Israeli military said it has carried out a fresh 'large-scale strike' against 12 Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria. The targets included four Syrian air-defense batteries and four Iranian targets, the military said.



According to official Israeli sources, since the incidents began Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been holding security consultations and approving the necessary actions in real-time. Members of the Israeli security cabinet have been briefed on the details.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman will hold a special security assessment meeting shortly with the IDF chief of staff and senior army and security officials.

Syrian television claimed Saturday morning more than one Israeli aircraft was hit by Syria's defense systems.

Due to Syrian anti-aircraft fire, says the army, rocket sirens sounded in multiple areas of northern Israel, first in the northern Israeli town of Beit She’an and later in the surrounding areas and Golan Heights.

This is a developing story.

Analysis Israel-Syria-Iran Flare-up: With Newfound Confidence, Assad Moves From Threats to Action
If it turns out Iranian soldiers or 'advisers' were killed in the Israeli strike, the situation may go from bad to worse

Amos Harel Feb 10, 2018 10:27 AM
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The incident Saturday on the Israeli-Syrian border signifies a grave escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel on one hand and Iran and the Assad regime on the other. The threats have been replaced by
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-with-newfound-confidence-assad-moves-from-threats-to-action-1.5806625
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