February 2018 Israel–Syria incident

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In February 10, 2018 an Israeli F-16 airplane was shot down by the Syrian Air defense force near the border between Syrian and Israel. Two pilots were injured. Two hours later, the Israeli force attacked Syria. Ever since the Iranian revolution 1979, it had been unusual for Israel to attack Syria. The attack can be considered part of the ongoing Iran-Israel Proxy Conflict in the Middle East. A proxy war is when two countries really mean to fight or compete with each other but instead attack each other's allies. Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he did not want Iranians to have bases and put troops and weapons close to Israel's borders.[1]

Reaction[change | change source]

  •  Israel: "Israel wants peace but we will continue to defend ourselves with determination against any attack on us and against any attempt by Iran to entrench itself militarily in Syria or anywhere else."
  •  Syria: The Ministry of Defense stated, "The Israeli enemy has resumed its aggression against some military positions in the southern region. Our air defenses have been attacked and the aggression has been thwarted."
  •  Iran: "Reports of downing an Iranian drone flying over Israel and also Iran's involvement in attacking an Israeli jet are so ridiculous... Iran only provides military advice to Syria."
  • Hezbollah: Hezbollah hailed Syria’s response to Israel’s attack on Iranian and Syrian bases in Syria, saying it signals “a new strategic phase” that puts an end to violation of Syrian territories.
  •  Lebanon: The Lebanese Foreign Ministry condemned “"he raids on Syria" and stressed the right to "legitimate self-defense against any Israeli aggression." The statement added, "this aggressive policy practiced by Israel threatens stability in the region," calling on "the countries concerned to rein in Israel to stop its aggression."
  •  Russia: The Russian Foreign Ministry stated, "of particular concern is the danger of escalation of tension within and around de-escalation zones in Syria, the creation of which has become an important factor in reducing violence on Syrian soil. We urge all parties involved to exercise restraint and to avoid any actions that could lead to an even greater complication of the situation. We consider it necessary to unconditionally respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other countries of the region. It is absolutely unacceptable to create threats to the lives and security of Russian servicemen who are in Syria at the invitation of its legitimate government to assist in the fight against terrorists."
  •  United States: "The Department of Defense did not participate in this military operation... Israel is our closest security partner in the region and we fully support Israel's inherent right to defend itself against threats to its territory and its people."
  •  United Kingdom: Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson issued a response, expressing concern at the developments, but supporting Israel's right to defend itself. We support Israel’s right to defend itself against any incursions into its territory. "We are concerned at the Iranian actions, which detract from efforts to get a genuine peace process underway. We encourage Russia to use its influence to press the regime and its backers to avoid provocative actions and to support de-escalation in pursuit of a broader political settlement," said Johnson.
  • United Nations United Nations: Secretary-General António Guterres said he was following the military escalation throughout Syria and the spillover across its borders closely and called for an immediate and unconditional de-escalation of violence in Syria.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Keane on Israeli Strikes in Syria: Netanyahu 'Will Not Tolerate' New Iranian Rocket Bases". Fox News Insider. 12 February 2018.