“Major Escalation”: Israel Carries Out “Large Scale Attack” On Syria After Israeli F-16 Shot Down

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from ZeroHedge:

Update 3:  According to Reuters, Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the situation in Syria in a telephone call following the heavy Israeli air strikes in the country, Interfax news agency cited the Kremlin as saying.

“They discussed the situation around the actions of the Israeli air force, which carried our missile strikes on targets in Syria,” Interfax quoted the Kremlin, adding that Putin told Netanyahu there was a need to avoid any steps that would lead to a new confrontation in the region.

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Update 2: Iran dismissed Tel Aviv’s claims concerning an Iranian drone and a downed Israeli jet as “ridiculous.” An Iranian commander also warned Iran could unleash “hell” on the “Zionist regime” and destroy all US bases in the area.

“The claim about the flight of an Iranian drone and Iran’s involvement in the downing of a Zionist fighter jet is so ridiculous that it does not merit a comment,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said. He added that Iranian officials are acting in Syria only as advisers and do so “at the request of the… legitimate and lawful government.”

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the deputy head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps, said that “any aggressive actions” by Tel Aviv would trigger a serious response. That is because Iran is capable of creating “hell for the Zionists.”

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Update: According to Al Masdar, the Israeli pilot whose warplane was shot down by Syrian air defense forces on Saturday morning has died from injuries sustained during the engagement.While according to initial reports both crew members ejected – the weapons operator with light injuries and the pilot with ‘severe’ injuries, according to subsequent, still unconfirmed, reports, the Israeli pilot with serious injuries has died in hospital. No further details were given according to Al Masdar. This report however is being denied by the Times of Israel  which reported that the pilot suffered wounds to chest, abdomen while ejecting from jet; co-pilot set to be released home Sunday.

The condition of the pilot, who was seriously injured after he was forced to evacuate the plane, stabilized Saturday morning, but he was still unconscious and connected to a respirator, doctors at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center said.

The condition of a seriously wounded Israeli pilot began to improve Saturday, after he underwent surgery for injuries he sustained while ejecting from his plane over northern Israel, in the midst of a severe confrontation between Israel, Syria, and Iran, the ToI reported. The F-16 jet he was piloting took part in Israeli airstrikes in response to an Iranian drone that entered Israeli airspace from Syria in the early morning hours on Saturday.

As reported earlier (see below), a major battle broke out on Saturday between the Israeli Air Force and Syrian Air Defence Force over the occupied Golan Region, south Lebanon and the west Damascus region. During the confrontation that lasted for hours, Israeli warplanes and Syrian anti-aircraft systems traded missile fire – literally dozens of such munitions were fired – as the latter launched a general attack against ‘Iranian and regime’ bases west of Damascus.

And in a major escalation, one which has the potential to escalate into all out war, at the beginning of the battle,  a Syrian surface-to-air missile downed an Israeli F-16I fighter jet over the occupied Golan Heights (described as ‘northern Israel’ by Israeli sources).

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