Israel is attacking Syria without provocation.
On Saturday, February 10, 2018, Iran launched an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from Syria, which violated Israeli sovereign airspace. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) dispatched an Apache attack helicopter to intercept the UAV and destroyed it.
“What we’ve known for a long time is now clear to everyone: Iran wants to establish a front in Syria that is aimed at harming Israel. We are not looking to escalate the situation, but we have abilities that we are not afraid to use,” said Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick, Head of the Northern Command (“Air Force strikes Iranian targets in Syria,” IDF, February 11, 2018).
The IAF subsequently destroyed the vehicle controlling the UAV located at the Syrian T-4 Airbase near Tadmor. “We carried out a wide-scale attack on the aerial defense system – radars, rockets, batteries, posts, and we performed a substantial strike, which as can be seen – they are trying to hide” said Brig. Gen. Amnon Ein Dar, Head of the Air Group in the IAF. The Israeli counterattack reportedly destroyed a significant portion of Assad’s long range SA-5 integrated air defense network outside Damascus (“‘More Israeli strikes against Iranian positions likely as Tehran seeks to destabilize region,’ says analyst,” Arab News, February 11, 2018).
During the attack, a Syrian surface-to-air missile shot down an F-16 fighter jet. The two pilots ejected and parachuted to safety in Israeli territory. One pilot was seriously injured, the other was lightly wounded.