Israel received the invitation drone
In southern Syria has opened a new front.
Last weekend in Syria in fact, there is a new front. Israeli aircraft carried out the most large-scale operation for the time of the Syrian war, directed against the government forces and the Iranian military facilities. In the process, Israel for the first time in 35 years, lost military plane shot down by Syrian air defense. The incident puts in a very delicate position of Moscow, which, on the one hand, supports the government of Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, but, on the other hand, maintains close ties with Israel. It is significant that the surge occurred just two weeks after a visit to Moscow, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israeli leader once tried to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin that Iran is seeking to gain a foothold in Syria, directly threatens the interests of the Jewish state.
Strikes by the Israeli air force Syrian air defense and, allegedly, by Iranian military installations have become the largest such operation in the area since 1982.
According to Israeli authorities, such decisive answer provoked a “provocation by the Iranians,” which launched in Syria by a drone in the airspace of the Jewish state.
According to the Israeli military command, the drone invaded the country’s airspace on Saturday morning and was shot down by an Apache helicopter through fifteen minutes after crossing the border near the town of Beit Shean in the Jordan valley. “The UAV was sent and controlled by the Iranian forces from the Iranian base in Syria, near Palmyra,” — said the official representative of army of defense of Israel Jonathan Conicus.
The wreckage of the drone, according to the Israeli military, make it possible to determine its origin. Member of the Cabinet of Ministers of Israel Yuval Steinitz in an interview with local radio said, the device is made on the model of the American drone RQ-170 downed by the Iranians in 2011.
While Tehran denies the presence of its bases and combat units in Syria, confirming only the presence of consultants and military advisers.
The Israelis claim that in response to the launch of the drone they destroyed the Iranian point of control of the UAV in Syria. The operation involved eight F-16 fighters. Syrian air defense is not left behind and opened fire at Israeli planes, when they returned to base. While one plane was shot down and fell on the territory of Israel, the pilots managed to eject.
After that the Israelis struck another blow in Syria, striking, as they say, 12 targets: four eight Iranian and Syrian military facilities, including three air defense batteries of SA-5 and SA-17. The Israelis have assured that they would not fire at Syrian facilities, if government forces did not open fire on Israeli planes.
We have dealt a serious blow to the forces of Iran and Syria. We let it be known to everyone that our rules and principles does not change: we will continue to prevent any attempt to harm us.Benjamin Nathanahartman-Minister of Israel
For the Prime Minister of Israel’s RAID of the Iranian drone was in some way a gift, especially because in the end there were no casualties on the Israeli side. Mr Netanyahu has been trying to convince the world of the Iranian threat to Israel and then suddenly got a propaganda trump card. “Our warnings were 100% justified,” — commented the head of the government the situation around the UAV.
One of those who warned about the “Iranian threat,” Mr Netanyahu was the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. As told by the media source in the delegation of the Prime Minister, two weeks ago visited Moscow, the Israeli leader has described Vladimir Putin, the signs of “creeping proliferation” Iran’s influence in the middle East. According to some, he even brought in the Russian capital card, on which was plotted the location of Iranian military bases in Syria.
Israeli interlocutors “” are assured that their concern “is well understood by Russian authorities.” However, Moscow has never officially is not confirmed. Iran is too important a partner for Russia in resolving the Syrian conflict in order to condemn his actions publicly. Even from a purely military point of view, it is the Iranian and Pro-Iranian groups in recent years, often played a key role in the fighting on the Syrian front. While informed sources in Moscow admit that sometimes the Iranians have great influence on Assad and his entourage, the impact of the abuse, urging the Syrian leader to take more drastic steps and statements, than that would be Russia.
This time the first reaction to Saturday’s incident, the Israelis were disappointed.
“We consider it necessary unconditional respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, other countries in the region”, — reads the statement of the foreign Ministry. Israeli media noted with regret that Moscow said nothing about the violation of the borders of the Jewish state and made no reference to Israel. In contrast to the statements of American politicians who unconditionally supported the Israelis, and blamed the incident on Iran.
At the same time, Russia did not interfere with Israeli planes in the implementation of their operations and expressed a word of condemnation of Israel’s actions.
“In Moscow perfectly understand on what objects we strike. Realize there that at this stage Israel does not have the purpose to overthrow or destabilize the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” — said “Kommersant” the Israeli diplomatic source.
After the incident, the Israeli side has requested a telephone conversation with Moscow, which took place on Saturday evening between Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu. “During our conversation, I affirmed the right and duty of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Syria”, — quotes the head of the government press service.
According to Israeli media, the two leaders agreed to continue coordination between the military of both countries to avoid conflict situations in Syria. “The Russian side expressed the hope to avoid any steps that could lead to a new round threat for all of the confrontation in the region”, — said the press service of the Kremlin.
“It is obvious that in Syria, Israel and Russia are pursuing opposite goals. Previously, Iran was 1.2 thousand miles away from Israel, and now the Iranians were from us at arm’s length. For Israel it is a matter of national security, while Russia treats Iran as a strategic partner”, — said “Kommersant” the Deputy of the Knesset from the opposition faction “Zionist camp” Xenia Svetlov. According to her, Israel “should do everything possible to ensure the safety of its citizens” and “to pursue an independent policy on Syria”.
Israeli media ask the question, “why Russia made the emergence of the Iranian drone in the sky over the Jewish state and why did the Syrian air defense shoot at Israeli planes”. It is obvious that in many cases the Israelis tend to exaggerate Moscow’s ability to influence the situation in all Syrian fronts, which often act beyond the control of her strength.
Indicative in this sense was the attack of the Syrian Pro-government forces against the “Forces of democratic Syria” in the area of Deir al-Zor, which provoked the retaliation of the Americans. In his statement, made in the footsteps of those events, the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation reluctantly stated that the action loyal to Damascus forces was not coordinated with the Russian military.
In Tehran on the incident in the South of Syria with the participation of the Israeli air force responded very harshly. Newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi quotes the words of the General Secretary of the Supreme national security Council of Iran Ali Shamkhani, who is convinced that after the destruction of Syrian air defenses, Israeli aircraft the balance of power in the middle East has changed. Says Iranian politician, now “aggressive action” of Israel will not go unpunished. “Israel came to us as a home, were doing in the sky what you wanted. Sooner or later it had to react,” — said in an interview with “Kommersant” many Syrians, both loyal to Damascus, and opposition.
Marianna Belenkaya, Maksim Yusin