Syria: Israel Will Face 'More Surprises' If They Attack Again

Israeli soldiers taking positions near the border with Syria Feb. 10 2018

The ICG's Zalzberg agreed there was little taste for war.

He says that Iran also used some Lebanese institutions to support its operations in Syria and it used Lebanon to support its Yemeni proxy, the Houthis.

Syrian anti-aircraft missiles managed to shoot down the Israeli F-16 over the weekend just after an Israeli Apache blasted down an Iranian drone.

Meanwhile, a joint Russian and Syrian air campaign killed hundreds of civilians in the rebel-held enclaves of Eastern Ghouta and in the northern province of Idlib, amid accusations that the Syrian government is once again using toxic agents such as chlorine against its opponents. "How will the USA respond?"

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Tuesday broke his silence on the weekend's aerial clashes with Syria and Iran, saying Israel will "respond to any provocation" and will "not accept any limitations" from Russian Federation on its goal of protecting Israeli citizens. That in turn should allow Moscow to dampen any enthusiasm in Syria for more.

"Assad and Hezbollah are the same, and if there will be an attack against us, we will not be obligated to act only against the source of the attack", he said during an interview on Army Radio.

As Syria's war soon enters its eighth year, many decry the recent unsafe escalation in the conflict, whether in the country's north, between Turkey and the Kurds, or in the south, between Iran and Israel. NATO-member Turkey, whose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan describes the YPG (People's Protection Units) as terrorists, is carrying out an offensive directed at the Kurdish-majority town of Afrin in Syria. Syrian state media have yet to disclose any casualties or damage.

Residents speak of a rapidly worsening humanitarian situation, adding that medical supplies are running low.

Israel released footage of the moment its forces downed the drone, but the deputy commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Brigadier General Hossein Salami declined to confirm the report. United States claims that it had no knowledge of Israel's attacks and Russian claims that it knew nothing about the attack on Israeli jets are doubtful. Government supporters celebrated in the streets of Damascus, handing out candy and hailing Assad and the army.




The recent violence has left hundreds dead and wounded amid relentless airstrikes that have transformed the besieged area into a death trap.

In Eastern Ghouta, almost 400,000 residents are trapped by the violence and a tightening government siege. At least 100 fighters lost their lives. The Iranian involvement in Syria has also emboldened Hezbollah, which Israel fears is acquiring game changing weapons.

Iran properly felt harsh military consequences for meddling with Israel this weekend - in a skirmish that could foreshadow growing regional conflict if Russian Federation doesn't move to rein in its allies in Syria.

Hard to believe it's even possible, but the Middle East got more troublesome over the weekend with the Israel Defense Forces' shoot-down of an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle - a UAV, or "drone" - which violated Israeli airspace.

"The new phase in the Syrian conflict makes the anti-ISIS war look like a stroll in the park". The point is, involved players seem to be ready to engage in an inter-state war, rather than pursuing their goals through local proxies. It blamed US-backed Syrian Kurds.

For instance, supposed allies the USA and Turkey are trading threats over northern Syria. How much can the US or Russians help, remains an open question.

In Kiryat Shmona on Tuesday, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters: "There are no limitations (on military operations), and nor do we accept any limitations". Iran could more efficiently and effectively support the terror group's effort to dominate the country as well as threaten Israel to the South. The area had been a stronghold of IS militants until late past year.

They are vying for control of the Middle East in the wake of the Syrian civil war. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said the USA intervention has no end date and the size of the US force will increase.

For Russia, this means a revision of the recently failed meeting at Sochi.

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