Israel says Iran, Syria ‘playing with fire’ but does not want escalation
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Israel says Iran, Syria ‘playing with fire’ but does not want escalation

‘This is the most blatant and severe Iranian violation of Israeli sovereignty in the last years,’ army spokesman states, after Iranian drone infiltrates and Israel retaliates

A picture taken on February 10, 2018 shows Israeli solders taking positions in the Golan Heights near the border with Syria. (AFP PHOTO / JALAA MAREY)
A picture taken on February 10, 2018 shows Israeli solders taking positions in the Golan Heights near the border with Syria. (AFP PHOTO / JALAA MAREY)

The Israeli military said Saturday Iran and Syria were “playing with fire” but that it was not seeking an escalation after an Iranian drone infiltration resulted in large-scale Israeli air strikes inside Syria.

Military spokesman Jonathan Conricus made the comments after Saturday’s confrontation, the most serious between arch foes Israel and Iran since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

Conricus told journalists in a phone conference that the Syrians and Iranians were “playing with fire” but Israel was “not looking to escalate the situation.”

“This is the most blatant and severe Iranian violation of Israeli sovereignty in the last years,” Conricus said, referring to the Iranian drone entering Israeli airspace from Syria. “That’s why our response is as severe as it is.”

Earlier Saturday, an Israeli F-16 fighter jet crashed after coming under fire from Syrian air defenses during attacks against “Iranian targets” in the war-torn country, a military spokesman said. The two pilots ejected. One was seriously injured and the second was lightly injured.

Watch: F-16 pilot parachutes down after ejecting from plane

The military said it later attacked 12 Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria in what it described as “large-scale” raids.

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