Israeli F16 belonging to Squadron 115, the Flying Dragon (Red Squadron) taxis to runway at Uvda airbase.
(photo credit: ANNA AHRONHEIM)
Israel warned Syria and Iran Saturday morning that their attempts to escalate the situation in the north will bring the full force of the IDF upon them.
“Iran and Syria are playing with fire,” the army said in a statement.“The IDF acts with determination against the attempt of the Iranian-Syrian attack and the violation of Israeli sovereignty. The IDF is prepared for a variety of scenarios and will continue to act as necessary.”
Syria's involvement shows that it has chosen to interfere in the Israeli-Iranian incident, the IDF statement said, "the Iranian mask has been removed. It is clear that they are using Syria as a launchpad for activity against Israel."
The statement added that Israel does not seek an escalation, but will exact a high price if the enemy does.
Syrian state news agency SANA said on Saturday that Syrian air defenses were responding to a "new Israeli aggression
" and a military source said the defenses had thwarted attacks on military positions in the south of the country.
Israel has been carrying out a major air operation over Syrian territory. According to a statement released by the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit, 12 targets were attacked, including three Syrians air defense batteries and four Iranian targets which were part of the Islamic Republic’s buildup in Syria.
The operation came in reaction to an Iranian drone infiltrating Israeli airspace, which Israel described as a severe violation of its sovereignty.
Earlier on Saturday, the Israeli military said an Israeli F-16 jet crashed
in northern Israel during a mission to strike the Iranian drone installation that launched a drone into Israeli-held territory.
"The Israeli enemy has resumed aggression on some military positions in the southern region and our air defenses have responded to them and thwarted the aggression," a Syrian military source said in a statement.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Israel has been targeting areas in the countryside southwest of the capital Damascus and in the eastern countryside of Homs province for several hours since dawn.
One set of raids hit positions belonging to the Syrian government and its allies in central Syria around the T4 airbase and in the Homs desert, the Britain-based Observatory said.
Another set of raids hit southwest of Damascus.