Israel attacks Syrian, Iranian posts as border region boils

Israel said the drone was operating from Israeli occupied Golan Heights and targeting Syrian rebels

The Israeli military later said that one Israeli F-16 crashed due to the "massive Syrian anti-air fire".

"This is a serious Iranian attack on Israeli territory". Adrian Rankine-Galloway said the United States shares "the concerns of many throughout the region that Iran's destabilizing activities threaten worldwide peace and security, and we seek greater global resolve in countering Iran's malign activities". Gen. Ronen Manelis, said in a special statement.

"The IDF is striking numerous (12) Syrian and Iranian military targets in Syria, in response to Iranian aggression", IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus said on Twitter.

"They discussed the situation around the actions of the Israeli air force, which carried our missile strikes on targets in Syria", Interfax quoted the Kremlin as saying.

The statement added that "during the attack, antiaircraft missiles were fired towards Israel, triggering alarms that were heard in northern Israel".

Netanyahu spent much of the day in security consultations in Tel Aviv with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. -Gen.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahran Qasemi, however, described the Israeli claim as "ridiculous".

One of those planes, an F-16 fighter jet, crashed on return from that mission. Qasemi went on to say, "Iran only provides military advice to Syria based on the request of the country's legitimate government".

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Israeli soldiers in the Golan Heights, which is occupied by Israel.

Iranian and Iran-backed Shi'ite forces, including Lebanon's Hezbollah, have deployed widely in support of Assad.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, said he spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the phone on Saturday evening and "repeated to him our right and duty to defend ourselves".

Israel, which considers Iran its most potent enemy in the region, has been lobbying world powers - so far, apparently, without success - to distance these forces from the border.

The US administration has backed Israel's hawkish stance on Iran, and declared containing Teheran's influence an objective of its Syria policy. It fears Iran could use Syrian territory to stage attacks or create a land corridor from Iran to Lebanon that could allow it to transfer weapons more easily to Hezbollah. That was when Syria-Russia stepped in to shoot down the plane.

Israel has shot down several drones that previously tried to infiltrate its territory from Syria. Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, one of the front-runners to be the next Iranian Supreme Leader, toured the Israeli-Lebanese border and boasted about operations to secure "Jerusalem's liberation".

The jet crash represented a severe blow to Israel's prestige and could mark a major change after years in which it acted against targets in Syria with relative impunity.

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