Syria Braces for Potential War Between Israel and Iran

Skirmishes between Israel and Iran represent a fourth conflict on the blood-soaked battleground of Syria.
An Israeli air force F-16I fighter plane is seen at a hangar at the Ramon Air Force Base, in the Negev desert, in southern Israel, on November 19, 2008. On February 10, Syrian anti-aircraft missiles shot down an Israeli F-16, the first Israeli fighter downed since 1982.
FE_IsraelSyria_01_83752982 Source: MARINA PASSOS/AFP/Getty

On February 10, an unmanned Iranian reconnaissance aircraft lifted off from a military base in central Syria and penetrated Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights. An Israeli Apache helicopter tracked the drone, filmed it and blasted it from the sky with an air-to-air missile. Israeli warplanes then roared into Syria and bombed the military base where the drone had been launched, destroying an Iranian control center. Amid the strike, Syrian anti-aircraft missiles shot down an Israeli F-16, the first Israeli fighter downed since 1982.

It was two months before Israel responded, but on April 9, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conferred with President Donald Trump, Israeli warplanes attacked Iranian forces in Syria head-on. In addition to destroying additional Iranian drones, the Israelis wiped out an advanced Iranian air-defense system that had been shipped from Tehran to Syria and killed seven members of Iran’s elite Quds Force, including the commander of the drone unit.

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