Israel carried out several airstrikes on Saturday causing massive damage to Iranian and Syrian regime positions within Syria after an Israeli fighter jet crashed during a previous offensive.
The response was hailed by Israeli Gen. Tomer of the air force as the “most significant attack” of its kind against Syria since the complicated Lebanon War in 1982 that caused hundreds of deaths.
The Israeli F-16 warplane went down while carrying out a mission that was in retaliation to an Iranian drone that crossed into northern Israel, according to the military.
The aircraft’s two pilots managed to parachute to safety before the warplane plummeted into the ground within Israeli borders.
Conflicting reports described the jet getting hit by artillery originating from Syria before falling, but these have not been confirmed by any of the factions or widely reported as the cause of the crash.
However, Israel later responded with the historic second wave of at least eight airstrikes on Iranian and Syrian positions, in a sign of escalation in the region that was condemned by Russia, an ally of Tehran and Damascus.
The U.S. State Department made clear it “strongly supports” Israel’s right to defend itself in regards to Israeli military action in Syria.
“Iran’s calculated escalation of threat and its ambition to project its power and dominance places all the people of the region, from Yemen to Lebanon, at risk,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
More details to follow.