Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that Israel will continue its operations across the border in Syria after an F-16 fighter jet was shot down, The Independent writes.
The Israeli warplane was hit by Syrian anti-aircraft fire on its return from a bombing raid on Iranian targets in the early hours of Saturday. Its two crew members survived with non-life-threatening injuries. As a response, Israel launched a second ferocious raid, believed to be its most aggressive in years, which it said hit 12 Iranian and Syrian military sites.
“Yesterday we landed hard blows on the forces of Iran and Syria. We made unequivocally clear to everyone that our modus operandi has not changed one bit,” Netanyahu said during his weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.
Syria’s war is reaching its seventh anniversary – but the weekend of violence and heightened rhetoric from its many international players show that rather than slowing down, it is becoming more complicated than ever.
Though formally neutral on Syria’s civil war, Israel is believed to have carried out more than 100 strikes to prevent weaponry shipments to Hezbollah, which, along with troops belonging to Shia militias from Iran and Iraq, fights alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops in the multi-sided conflict, The Independent adds.