In response, Israel then launched airstrikes on Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria, including the command and control center that launched the drone, at an air base near Palmyra.
A Israeli F-16 was shot down, reportedly by Russian made S200 missiles.
Reports indicate that the plane had 25 missiles launched against it, and took a hit, and lost its tail. The heroic Israeli pilot was still able to fly the plane back into Israeli airspace, where he and the navigator ejected
In true New York Times fashion, the headline paints Israel as the aggressor.
From IDF Spokesperson Peter Lerner, via Twitter:
1. First direct Iranian operation against Israel.
2. Iran and its proxies are preparing the battlefield of a future war.
3. Iranians in Syria means there are plenty targets for the IDF, the counter strike shows that Israel has operable intelligence.
🔴 3 observations— LTC (R) Peter Lerner (@LTCPeterLerner) February 10, 2018
1. First direct Iranian operation against Israel. 2 Iran and its proxies are preparing the battlefield of a future war. 3 Iranians in Syria means there are plenty targets for the IDF, the counter strike shows that Israel has operable intelligence.
The Palestinians reacted to the news of the downed aircraft by passing out sweets.
Israel has the right and the responsibility to protect its civilians. Israeli leaders have made it abundantly clear that they will respond as needed to any attack or provocation.
The mission was a resounding success, according to the IDF, who declared:
In total, the IDF targeted 12 military objectives, including 3 aerial defense batteries and 4 Iranian targets that are part of Iran's military establishment in Syria. “We carried out a wide-scale attack on the aerial defense system - radars, rockets, batteries, posts, and we performed a substantial strike, which as can be seen - they are trying to hide” says Brig. Gen. Amnon Ein Dar, Head of the Air Group in the IAF. According to Brig. Gen. Ein Dar, it is “the biggest and most significant attack the air force has carried out against Syrian air defenses since 1982.”