New element in Syrian war

ISRAEL’S Prime Minister said Sunday his country delivered ‘severe blows’ to Iranian and Syrian forces and vowed to take further action against its adversaries following the most serious Israeli engagement in Syria since the war there erupted almost seven years ago. Benjamin Netanyahu’s tough words came a day after Israel carried out a wave of airstrikes in Syria. Israel claims it ordered the airstrikes after it intercepted an Iranian drone that had infiltrated its airspace, and an Israeli F-16 was downed upon its return from Syria.
Israeli action would surely give a new twist to the on-going war in Syria, making it all the more difficult to end the conflict that has brought miseries to Syrians. Though Israel has largely stayed out of the Syrian conflict, it has struck weapons convoys destined for Hezbollah dozens of times since 2012. Israel has also shot down several drones that previously tried to infiltrate its territory from Syria, but the reported capture of an Iranian drone by Israel and the direct targeting of Iranian sites in response marked a dramatic escalation. This seems to be deliberate attempt to raise tension and complicate things in Syria, as the war appears to be winding down, Israel believes Iran and its Shiite allies are establishing a permanent presence in Syria that could turn its aim towards Israel. Israel has recently issued several stern warnings about the increased Iranian involvement along its borders with Syria and Lebanon. The sudden escalation of tension is harbinger of what lies ahead in the war-torn country. With war easing, Iran reportedly prepares to have its military presence in Syria, which Iran sees as a direct threat to its security. Anti-aircraft fire by Syrian Army during Israeli attack indicated a political decision by Damascus to respond to Israeli strikes and that means further escalation unless the United States and Russia intervene to calm the situation.

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