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As it happened: Israel, Iran and Syria come to blows in dramatic day of conflict

2018-02-11 09:57:58       source:i24news

February 11, 2018

Israel said it inflicted the most extensive damage on Syria's air defense system in almost forty years on Saturday, the same day an Iranian drone violated Israeli airspace and a fighter jet was "likely" downed by enemy fire, marking the most dramatic day of escalation on the Israeli-Syria border in recent history.

Israel's political and military leaders bunkered down for emergency talks as Iran threatened to "create hell for the Zionist regime," and Shiite militia Hezbollah crowed that Israel's loss of an F-16 warplane to Syrian anti-aircraft fire represented a "new strategic phase" in the region.

The most direct military confrontation yet between Israel and Iran began just before dawn local time, when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said they detected an Iranian drone and allowed it to enter Israeli airspace for approximately 90 seconds before shooting it down.

Retaliation for the incursion was swift, with eight Israeli F-16s screaming into Syria to carry out retaliatory strikes deep inside the country, including on the vehicle that controlled the drone and an air base said to be bristling with Iranian personnel and weapons.

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