13 Febr 2018 – Over the weekend, there were a number of ‘firsts’ in the the Syrian conflict. Namely, Israeli jets fired on Iranian forces inside Syria, which were flying an Iranian drone over Israel.
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, former chief of Israeli Military Intelligence, explains what happened—and what conclusions both sides should draw: • “First, the Iranian UAV penetrated Israeli airspace and then it was detected and destroyed by Israel forces. Second, Israel attacked the caravan from which the UAV was piloted at the T-4 airbase deep in Syrian territory. Third, the Israeli F-16 was downed over Israeli territory by an outdated Syrian SA-5 missile. And finally, Israel launched an extensive strike that focused on Syrian air defenses and Iranian forces in Syria.”
- The incident was the result of two strategic vectors: “Iranian determination to build an advanced military force in Syria…[and] Israeli determination to prevent that from happening.”
- “In the short-term, the Israeli focus should be on studying the downing of the F-16… it is critical for Israel to understand how such an advanced plane could be brought down by such an outdated missile.”
- “In the medium-term, Israel must plan for Iranian and Syrian actions beyond what we have seen thus far, in particular long-range missile strikes. Israel should prepare a possible response to such steps that includes actions that more directly threaten the stability of the Assad regime, which would serve to demonstrate that any escalation by Iran or its partners will cost the pro-Assad axis dearly.”
Read more from Yadlin & Ari Heistein of the Institute for National Security Studies.