Syria deals ‘severe blow’ to Israel by F-16 shot down

February 16, The Iran Project – The Syrian military managed to hit at least one intruding Israeli F-16 warplane on Feb. 10 that attacked positions inside Syrian territory, sending it down in flames and smoke which is considered as a “severe blow” to the Zionist regime of Israel.

Syria state television later cited a Syrian military official as saying that Israeli “aggression” targeted the Syrian army base in the central region of the country.

Sources in Damascus said there were casualties among Syrian forces.

In response, Syria shot down more than one Israeli fighter jets, according the official.

Pro-government military alliance in Syria said in a statement later on Saturday that Israel would see a severe and serious response to its “terrorism” from now on.

Earlier, the Israeli army claimed that its helicopter downed an Iranian drone and struck at what the Israeli military claimed to be Iranian targets in Syria, prompting fire from the Syrian air defense systems.

In a meantime, the move was praised by several Iranian and foreign officials, hailing the Syrian government for downing an Israeli F-16, calling it a heroic action.

“More Surprises” Await Aggressor 

In a meantime, the Syrian government said on Tuesday (Feb. 13) that Israel would face “more surprises” in future attacks on Syria’s territory, after Syrian air defences shot down an Israeli F-16 jet.

Syrian Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Sussan has warned potential aggressors during a press-conference against being self-confident when deciding to perpetrate attacks against Syrian territory. According to him, they can expect more “surprises” like the one with the Israeli F-16 fighter jet in the future, if they decide to attack.

Damascus’ warning comes as the Israeli Defense Minister proclaims that there will be no restrictions to the country’s military operations.

“Have full confidence the aggressor will be greatly surprised because it thought this war — this war of attrition Syria has been exposed to for years — had made it incapable of confronting attacks,” Ayman Sussan said.

“New Strategic Phase”

Lebanon’s Hezbollah group said on Saturday the downing of an Israeli F-16 jet by the Syrian army marked the “start of a new strategic phase” which would limit Israeli exploitation of Syrian airspace.

“Today’s developments mean the old equations have categorically ended,” the Lebanese resistance movement said in a statement.

Moreover, the secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has praised the recent downing of an Israeli F-16 fighter jet as a “very big military achievement.”

“Syrian movement has decided to repel Israel’s aerial assaults. The decision to shoot down the plane was taken by the Syrian leadership and President Bashar al-Assad. Those who executed the order were the officers and soldiers from the Syrian Arab Army,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addressing his supporters via a televised speech from the capital Beirut on Friday evening (Feb. 16).

Israel’s Use of Force in Syria “Ineffective”

The downing of an Israeli jet which conducted missions in Syria has become a game-changer in the Syrian-Israeli standoff, RIA Novosti contributor Gevorg Mirzayan writes.

According to the scholar, Tel Aviv needs to reconsider its Syria-policy and choose diplomatic means instead of the use of force to reach its objectives.

The downing of an Israeli F-16 in Syria on February 10 left Tel Aviv facing a new dilemma on whether to change its foreign policy toward Damascus, Gevorg Mirzayan, an associate professor at the Department of Political Science at the Finance University of the Russian Government, writes in his op-ed for RIA Novosti.

The academic underscored that Tel Aviv is seeking to diminish Iran’s influence in Syria; however, it appears that the use of force is not the most effective option to accomplish this goal.

Heroic Action

Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), admired Damascus for downing an Israeli F-16, calling it a heroic action.

He rejected the Israeli regime’s claims that Iran was involved in drone intrusion into Israel, describing the Syrian military’s downing of the Israeli jet heroic.

Shamkhani added that the Syrian army’s move showed that the era of “hit-and-run” has ended, noting that the Israeli regime cannot conduct hostile attacks against Syria with impunity anymore.

Zionists’ Anti-Iran Claims

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahran Qasemi dismissed the Zionist regime’s allegations towards Iran as regard interfering in shooting down of Israel’s fighter jet in Golan Heights.

As an independent country, the Syrian army and government has the right to defend its territorial integrity and to stand against any foreign aggression, he said reacting to Zionist officials’ claims over their repeated aggressions on Syria and shooting one of their fighters by Syrian air defense.

The Zionist Regime would not be able to continue its aggressions and crimes by playing the blame game, he added.

 Severe Blow

The downing of an Israeli F16 fighter jet by the Syrian air defense dealt a heavy and severe blow to the Israeli regime’s air force, Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said.

“This incident is a heavy and severe blow to the Israeli air force, “Abu Obeida, the spokesman of al-Qassam brigades said in an interview with the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV.

He described the jet’s downing as a “strategic” and “important” development following long years of the Israeli regime’s violence and aggression.

He further called for launching more such retaliatory attacks to prevent repetition of the Zionist enemy’s aggression.

Besides, Moscow expressed serious concerns about the latest developments in Syria and called on the sides to exercise restraint and avoid an escalation of the situation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.