BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:30 A.M.) – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the flare-up on the Israeli-Syrian border in a televised address from Tel Aviv on Saturday, after an Iranian drone was intercepted by the Israeli military earlier in the day.
Immediately afterwards, the Israel Air Force dispatched a squadron of eight fighter jets to attack the site where the drone had been launched from, prompting the SAA to retaliate with anti-aircraft fire.
One Israeli F-16 was reportedly struck, forcing its pilots to eject before the plane hit the ground in northern Israel. One crew member was severely injured. The Israeli government has not yet confirmed the downing of the jet at the time of writing.
Commenting on the incident, Netanyahu stated that ” Iran brazenly violated Israel sovereignty.”
“We will continue to do whatever is necessary to protect our sovereignty and our security,” he concluded.
Following the incident, Netanyahu reportedly urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to use his influence on Iran and Syria to soothe the looming conflict. Israel also appealed to the United Nations Security Council denouncing Iran’s conduct and “put an immediate end to Iranian provocations.”
Iran in turn denied Israel’s downing of a drone with the Foreign Ministry calling the account “ridiculous,” while the Syrian military insisted the drone had not violated Israeli airspace while it was on a mission to gather intelligence on the alleged presence of Islamic State fighters in the area.