Israel launches major strike against targets in Syria following downing of F-16 fighter

The Israel Defense Force launched at least a dozen strikes against Syrian and Iranian military targets inside Syria on Saturday following the downing of an Iranian drone inside Israeli territory and the Syrian downing of an Israeli F-16.

“We inflicted on Saturday a heavy blow to Iranian and Syrian forces,”  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting. “We made clear to everyone that our rules of engagement will not change in any way. We will continue to harm anyone who tries to harm us. This was our policy and this will remain our policy.”

Israeli leaders reiterated the country’s long-stated intentions of refusing to allow Iran and its proxy, the militant Hezbollah organization, to establish a military presence inside Syria.

In addition, the IDF deployed Patriot, Arrow and Iron Dome anti-missile and air defense systems throughout the northern portion of the country and the Golan Heights, in response to Syrian and Iranian military activity.

Israel has been launching strikes inside Syria for months in an attempt to prevent the Iranians and Hezbollah from establishing a sizeable, threatening military presence. [source]

Analysis: We have much more on this developing situation and it may impact regional peace in the 15 February Strategic Intelligence Summary. Become a subscriber today — click here.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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