F-16_June_2008

Iran-Israel conflict brews in Syria after downed military jet


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Israel launched several airstrikes on Iranian-backed forces in Syria, the latest in a rapid succession of attacks between the two regional foes.

Israel claims the fighting began when an Iranian drone flew into Israeli airspace. Both Iran and Syria deny the allegations. In response, Israel bombed targets in Syria, and one of the Israeli F-16 jets was then downed by anti-aircraft fire.

It was the first time in 36 years that Israel had lost a warplane to enemy fire. Israel then launched another air raid, hitting what it said were 12 Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said Israel’s strikes had killed at least six people from Syrian government and allied forces.

This incident marks a high point in tensions between Iran and Israel, a conflict that has escalated with an increased Iranian presence in Syria. Israel sees Iran as using its neighboring country of Syria as a hub in which to “destroy Israel.”

Iran denied responsibility for the attack on the F-16 saying its role in Syria was only advisory.

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