TEL AVIV – Israel’s envoy to the UN Danny Danon called on the UN Security Council to condemn Iran for its “dangerous actions” after the downing of an Israeli F-16 on Saturday.
“This is not the first time we have warned you against Iran’s dangerous actions that undermine the security situation in the region,” Danon stated in a letter to the UNSC.
“This incident proves that every one of these warnings proved true. Israel will defend its citizens and will not tolerate any violation of its sovereignty,” he added.
“Council members must not stand idly when Iran acts to dangerously escalate the situation in the region,” Danon said, adding that the UNSC must “condemn this dangerous step and immediately end the Iranian provocations.”
IAF Air Staff Commander Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar said Israel caused serious harm to Syrian air defense bases after the IDF responded to the incursion of an Iranian drone into Israeli airspace.
Bar said the response to “Syrian chutzpah” was “the biggest and most significant attack the air force has conducted against Syrian air defenses since Operation Peace for the Galilee” in 1982 during the First Lebanon War. He added that the airstrikes inflicted “significant harm to the Syrian Air Force’s defenses,” which included “anti-aircraft batteries purchased in recent deals [with the Russians].”
Syria responded with a barrage of missiles that resulted in the downing of an Israeli F-16 in which two pilots were injured, one seriously and another lightly. They were treated at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that both were showing signs of improvement.
Israel said the drone infiltration was a “severe and irregular violation of Israeli sovereignty” and warned of further military action against Iran.
“This is a serious Iranian attack on Israeli territory. Iran is dragging the region into an adventure in which it doesn’t know how it will end,” Israel’s chief military spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said in a statement. “Whoever is responsible for this incident is the one who will pay the price.”
The Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace and remained there for a minute and a half before being downed by a combat helicopter. Israel launched airstrikes on 12 Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria, including three air-defense batteries and four Iranian targets such as the control center that launched the drone.
The UAV, which had Western characteristics, was sophisticated and would be studied by Israel, Bar said.
Netanyahu on Sunday said that Israel “dealt severe blows to the Iranian and Syrian forces.”
“We made it unequivocally clear to everyone that our rules of action have not changed one bit; we will continue to strike at every attempt to strike at us. This has been our policy and it will remain our policy,” he added.