If you’ve ever had the honor of standing side-by-side a soldier of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), then you know that when these men and women go to war, they are absolutely lethal. Let’s just say I’d hate to be on the side who opposes them, which is exactly why their nation exists after being surrounded by enemies for decades.
(ASSOCIATED PRESS) The Israeli military shot down an Iranian drone that infiltrated the country early Saturday before launching a “large-scale attack” on at least a dozen Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria. Israel called it a “severe and irregular violation of Israeli sovereignty” and warned of further action against the unprecedented Iranian aggression.
The military said its planes faced massive anti-aircraft fire from Syria that forced two pilots to abandon an F-16 jet that crashed in northern Israel. One pilot was seriously wounded and the other lightly. Syrian officials reported large explosions in the center of the country and the Syrian counter fire set off warning sirens throughout northern Israel.
The Israeli strikes marked its most significant engagement since the fighting in neighboring Syria began in 2011 and said Iran would be held responsible for its outcome.
“This is a serious Iranian attack on Israeli territory. Iran is dragging the region into an adventure in which it doesn’t know how it will end,” Israel’s chief military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, said in a special statement. “Whoever is responsible for this incident is the one who will pay the price.”
Gen. Hossein Salami, acting commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, did not acknowledge Israel’s claim it shot down the drone. “We do not confirm any such news from Israel,” he said. But the joint operations room for the Syrian military and its allies denied the drone violated Israeli airspace, saying it was on a regular mission gathering intelligence on Islamic State militants.
Syria’s Defense Ministry said in statements on its website that its air defenses responded successfully to the Israeli operation and hit more than one plane. “The Israeli enemy has once again attacked some of our military bases in the southern area and our air defenses responded and foiled the aggression,” it said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman were convening the top brass at military headquarters in Tel Aviv to discuss further response.
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