Israel attacks 12 bases in Syria


America told Israel is was "deeply concerned" about the violence Saturday, but said the country has the right to defend itself.

Israel says an Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace early Saturday.

Their plane and several other aircraft were heading back into Israel after striking there an Iranian command center that had launched an unmanned aircraft, or drone, into Israel.

It said its reprisals after the exchange were "large-scale" raids.

The Israeli military spokesman said Israel did not seek escalation in the region, calling its action a "defensive effort triggered by an Iranian act of aggression".

The Israeli pilots of the crashed F16 were reported alive, although one was severely wounded.

The military alliance fighting in support of Assad denied any of its drones had entered Israeli air space.

"The creation of any threat to the lives and safety of Russian military servicemen now in Syria on the invitation of its lawful government to help fight terrorists is absolutely unacceptable", the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "Iran only provides military advice to Syria", TV quoted Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying.

"Essentially what followed was, in my opinion, the most massive assault by the Israel Air Force against the Syrian aerial defense deployment since Operation Peace for Galilee", the Israeli army's name for the 1982 Lebanon War, Bar said. "We do not confirm any such news from Israel", he said. According to a separate military statement, "multiple anti-aircraft missiles were fired at IAF (Israel air force) aircraft". Both pilots suffered injuries, and ejected after reaching Israeli territory.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has advisory presence in Syria at the request of the country's legitimate and constitutional government", Qassemi said. The cause of the F-16 crash is being investigated, Conricus said, adding that the IDF has not determined if anti-aircraft fire hit the jet. Tzipi Livni of the opposition Zionist Union faction said the government must do more to build worldwide backing for Israeli attacks in Syria.

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Air raid sirens had gone off in Israel in the early hours of the morning following the UAV interception and raids.

Israeli military said it was "monitoring events" and was "fully prepared for further action".

Netanyahu has been seeking to persuade Russian Federation to limit Iran's presence near Israeli territory and to stop it from entrenching itself militarily in Syria.

Iranian and Iran-backed Shi'ite forces, including Lebanon's Hezbollah, have deployed widely in support of Assad.

Hezbollah said on Saturday the "brave confrontation of the aggressing Israeli planes", including downing an F-16, ushers in a "new strategic phase" that puts an end to the violation of Syrian airspace and territories. "However, we are not looking to escalate the situation".

Israel remain technically at war with Syria and occupies a swath of the strategic Golan Heights that it seized in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed in a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

They relocated to the Israeli side in 2014 after 45 Fijian peacekeepers, taken captive by Jabhat al-Nusra militants in the current operational area, were released.

"Eventually, we may find ourselves in a war because we want to stop them, they don't want to be stopped, we raise the stakes, they raise the stakes and yes, that could lead to war", Litvak said.

Syrian media said its air defences had struck the jet.