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"United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate de-escalation." - Sheeeyeah, Antonio. We'll get right on that.
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Posted by: TEEBONE

02/11/2018, 17:22:33

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yahoo.com

Israel warns over Iran's presence in Syria after air strikes


Mike Smith



1 / 4

A
picture taken in the northern Israeli Kibbutz of Harduf on February 10,
2018, shows the remains of an Israel F16 that crashed after coming
under fire by Syrian air defences during attacks against "Iranian
targets" in the war-torn country (AFP Photo/Jack GUEZ)

Jerusalem
(AFP) - Israel issued stark warnings on Sunday over Iran's presence in
neighbouring Syria after a confrontation threatened to open a new and
unpredictable period in the country's seven-year civil war.

Israel
carried out major air raids in Syria on Saturday, including against
what it described as Iranian targets -- the first time it had publicly
acknowledged doing so since the war began.

The
raids came after an Israeli F16 fighter was shot down by Syrian air
defences. The pilots survived, but it was Israel's first loss of a
warplane in battle since 1982.

"We
inflicted on Saturday a heavy blow to Iranian and Syrian forces," Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday's cabinet
meeting.

"We
made clear to everyone that our rules of engagement will not change in
any way. We will continue to harm anyone who tries to harm us. This was
our policy and this will remain our policy."

For more news videos visit Yahoo View. " data-reactid="52">For more news videos visit Yahoo View.

Other
Israeli ministers spoke of refusing to accept Iran entrenching itself
militarily in Syria, as Netanyahu has said repeatedly. Tehran denies it
is doing so.

While
several analysts said they did not expect a further escalation in the
coming days, some spoke of the possibility of the Syrian war entering a
new phase.

Syria
has become more emboldened to try to stop Israeli strikes inside the
country, while Israel wants to maintain its ability to operate there
when it sees fit, said Ofer Zalzberg of the International Crisis Group
think tank.

Israel
has sought to stay out of direct involvement in the Syrian war, but it
acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes there to stop what it
describes as deliveries of advanced weapons to Lebanese Shiite group
Hezbollah.

Israel
fought a devastating war in 2006 with Hezbollah, which along with Iran
and Russia backs the Syrian regime in the conflict.

"I
think this incident is more likely to be contained because
fundamentally it is a gradual attempt to renegotiate the so-called rules
of the game," Zalzberg said, adding that Russia should mediate.

Witnesses
said Israel had deployed a missile defence system in the
Israeli-occupied Golan Heights near the demarcation line with Syria on
Sunday morning.

- 'Playing with fire' -

Saturday's
events began with Israel shooting down what it described as an Iranian
drone that had entered Israeli airspace from Syria -- which Tehran has
denied.

On
Sunday, Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus alleged the drone
was a copy of a US model captured by Iran in 2011. He said the
conclusion was made from an analysis of the drone's debris.

Israel responded on Saturday with a raid on what it said was the Iranian control systems in Syria that sent the drone.

During
that raid, the Israeli F16 met heavy Syrian anti-aircraft fire and was
hit, Israeli Air Force Brigadier General Amnon Ein Dar told army radio.

The
pilots ejected and the plane crashed inside Israel. One crew member was
severely wounded, but his condition was said to be improving on Sunday.

Israel
then carried out what it called "large-scale" air strikes inside Syria,
including against what it described as Iranian targets.

Conricus
warned on Saturday that Syria and Iran were "playing with fire", but
stressed that Israel was not seeking an escalation.

"This is the most blatant and severe Iranian violation of Israeli sovereignty" in recent years, Conricus said.

Iran dismissed Israeli "lies" and said Syria had the right to defend itself against Israeli attacks.

Iranian
foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said "Iran does not have a
military presence in Syria, and has only sent military advisers at the
request of the Syrian government."

Russia stressed the need to "avoid any measure that could lead to a dangerous escalation".

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate de-escalation.

Netanyahu
spoke with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of
State Rex Tillerson after Saturday's confrontation.

Washington backed Israel and blamed Iran for the escalation.

Tillerson on Sunday begins a Middle East tour that will take him to Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Kuwait.

Netanyahu
has met regularly with Putin in recent months in a bid to convince
Russia to keep Iranian forces away from Israeli territory.

Russia and Israel have also established a hotline to avoid accidental clashes in Syria.

Israel
is technically at war with Syria and occupies a swathe of the Golan
Heights that it seized in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed in a
move never recognised by the international community.










LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATE

Democrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.





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