Israel Fighter Jet Crash Ratchets up Regional Tensions
Israel’s intensive air raids against what it said were Iranian targets inside Syria have ratcheted up regional tensions, as Russia, a key player in Syria’s long-running war, urged restraint.
The Israeli army on Saturday launched “large-scale” attacks inside Syria after intercepting what it said was an Iranian drone and the subsequent downing of an Israeli fighter jet, which crashed after it came under fire from Syrian air defence forces.
The incidents marked the most serious confrontation yet between Israel and Iran since the civil war in Syria began in 2011.
In Russia, whose forces began intervening in support of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in 2015, officials said they were “seriously concerned” by the confrontation.
“We urge all parties involved to exercise restraint and to avoid any actions that could lead to an even greater complication of the situation,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
According to Al Jazeera, the Israeli air raids began early on Saturday when the country’s military said it had intercepted an unmanned aircraft over the city of Beit Shean “on a military mission sent and operated by Iranian military forces”.