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Syrian Air Defense Downs Israeli F-16

February 12th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Throughout years of US-led aggression on Syria, Israel attacked its territory numerous times - by air and cross-border shelling.

It’s unclear if any of its warplanes were hit before - most often operating from Lebanese or its own airspace.

Pre-dawn Saturday, Syria’s air defense downed an Israeli F-16 operating west of Damascus. An IDF spokesman said the plane crashed, its pilots safe after ejecting, adding they’re hospitalized in stable condition.

Preceding the incident, Israel downed what it called an Iranian drone, most likely a Syrian one called Iranian.

Netanyahu and IDF leadership together with Washington seek pretexts to escalate war on Syria more than already.

IDF spokesman General Ronen Manelis lied, saying Iran conducted “a dangerous attack on Israeli territory,” adding:

“This is a serious breach of Israeli sovereignty by Iran…dragging the region into an adventure, and it will pay the price” - a ominous warning, Israel and Washington coordinating their anti-Syria operations.

No evidence suggests any Iranian or Syrian cross-border attacks occurred throughout years of conflict.

Unlike Israel, Syrian air and ground forces operate only in their own territory. Iran insists it only has advisory military personnel in the country, aiding its ally combat US-supported terrorism, operating from Syrian bases, not its own, as falsely claimed.

No Iranian or Syrian drone entered Israeli territory pre-dawn Saturday, as Israel claimed. The downed UAV was in Syrian airspace, perhaps close to Israel’s border.

Syrian media said Israeli “aggression” was launched against one of its army bases.

This Israeli-provoked incident signals a possible dangerous escalation of US-led war on Syria - launched by Obama, revved up by Trump, aiming for regime change and gaining another US imperial trophy, ahead of plans to target Iran the same way.

Russia understands US and Israeli intentions, failing so far to challenge them forcefully.

The latest incident is more evidence of the need to confront US, Israeli and Turkish aggression in Syria to stop it.

Failure to act could let these countries carve up Syrian territory, achieve long sought regime change, isolate Iran, target its government the same, and embroil the region in greater conflict than already.

The time to stop what’s going on is now or face a likely far greater regional problem ahead.

The only language Washington and Israel understand is force. It’s time to give them a taste of their own medicine - enough to force them to back off.

Continuing normal diplomatic relations with serial aggressors encourages them to pursue their imperial agendas unimpeded.

Challenging them forcefully is the only way to keep war in Syria from spreading dangerously out-of-control - heading things toward possible nuclear confrontation, a doomsday scenario essential to prevent.

A Final Comment

According to the Moscow Times, Russian military contractors were killed by US-led aerial and ground attacks on Syrian and allied forces in Deir Ezzor earlier this week.

RT, Sputnik and Tass failed to report it. Numerous Russian private military contractors operate in Syria.

According to the Moscow Times, “two tactical units of the Wagner private military group had been hit by the US strikes on Feb. 7.”

"One (unit was) practically totally destroyed, and the second…smashed ‘to smithereens,’ “ quoting Igor Girkin, a Russian army artillery veteran.

Russia’s Defense Ministry reportedly said none of its military personnel were killed, a statement saying the attack “demonstrates that the true goal of the continued illegal presence of US forces on Syrian territory (is) the capture and control of economic assets that belong exclusively to the Syrian Arab Republic, not a fight against the ISIS international terrorist group.”

How many more Syrian and Russian personnel will die before Moscow challenges US-led aggression forcefully?

Each incident like the above and what happened pre-dawn Saturday explain the urgency of intervening responsibly to stop them.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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