IDF reveals UAV launched from Iran-operated Syrian base/الجيش الإسرائيلي يؤكد أن الطائرة دون طيار التي اخترقت الأجواء الإسرائيلية هي إيرانية وانطلقت من قاعدة لإيران في سوريا/Israeli warplane downed by Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles/طائرة حربية إسرائيلية اسقطت بصاروخ صناعة روسية
Israeli warplane downed by Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles طائرة حربية إسرائيلية اسقطت بصاروخ صناعة روسية
IAF chief Tomer Bar reveals F-16 intercepted following strike in Syria was likely shot down by barrage of surface-to-air missiles, shot by Syrian armed forces and made, supplied by Russia; mission ‘a complete operational success’ despite downing, Bar stresses; stray missiles from the barrage may have reached Israel’s Central District—missile trails spotted in region.
The Israeli Air Force’s leading conjecture on the F-16 plane that was shot down by anti-aircraft fire on Saturday morning is that Syrian forces used a Russian made S-200 (Vega) medium-to-high altitude surface-to-air missile to intercept the Israeli aircraft.
Missile trails were seen in the central region of the country in the early hours of Saturday morning. It is possible that some Syrian S-200 missiles fired in the barrage failed to lock onto the jet and flew off course, though there were no reports of any such missile falling in the region.
About two weeks ago, pro-regime Syrian armed forces threatened to strike Ben Gurion Airport in response to an attack on their soil they attributed to Israel. According to IAF Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar, pilots of the downed warplane did not have time to report the incident on the communications network before they bailed, as the missiles locked on and closed distance with the aircraft too quickly for them to do so. The mission, in any case, was a “complete operational success,” Bar noted, calling the large scale attack on Syrian aerial defense systems and Iranian targets in Syria “surgical” and emphasizing it was “the most extensive defense operation we have carried out against Syrian armed forces since Operation Peace for Galilee (1982 Lebanon War)”—the last time an Israeli plane was shot down.
Though he did not reveal what exactly were the targets the IAF attacked, he did note that Iran is working to implement surveillance systems in Syria against Israel. “There’s some contention between the desire to fulfill the mission and the matter of survivability. We will investigate what happened, but the teams’ performance should be commended,” said Bar, adding that the pilots successfully managed to fly the plane into Israeli territory before having to abandon it, and did so without risking civilian life. Bar added that at no point was Russia involved in the operation and following interception.
“We informed the Russians about our activities, but I will not say at what stage of the operation,” he said.
**Yoav Zitun, Ahiya Raved, Liad Osmo, Hassan Shaalan, Ron Ben-Yishai and Elior Levy contributed to this report.
IDF reveals UAV launched from Iran-operated Syrian base الجيش الإسرائيلي يؤكد أن الطائرة دون طيار التي اخترقت الأجواء الإسرائيلية هي إيرانية وانطلقت من قاعدة لإيران في سوريا
Drone which infiltrated Israel and forced retaliatory strike in Syria was launched from Syrian base operated by Iran, IDF reveals, adds base operates under guise of battling terrorism.
Also known as the T-4 Airbase and located in the Homs Governorate, north of Tiyas, the base has been used by Iran for the past few months. “Iran and the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards have been operating there for a long time, backed by Syrian army forces and with the approval of the Syrian regime,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said. Iran has been using the base in recent months for the purpose of transferring weaponry to be used against Israel.
“These actions by Iran at the base are ostensibly carried out under the guise of supporting the fighting against the global Islamic jihad forces, but the actions carried out in the past 24 hours prove that its real concern is direct violent action against Israel,” the IDF said. “In the Iranian action, all the Israeli warnings against Iranian consolidation in Syria were realized. The attack was initiated and Israel was forced to respond first to the threat in its territory and then to the hostile elements operating from the Syrian territory opposite it.”
Footage of the Iranian UAV that was shot down in Israeli airspace Saturxday shows it heavily resembles a US stealth drone that was downed in Iran in 2011.After being captured in Iran, the United States asked for it back, but was refused.
US magazine The Aviationist reported the drone was a model the Revolutionary Guards presented two years ago, built on the basis of the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel aerial reconnaissance UAV.
The model is called the “Beast of Kandahar” due to its activities in Afghanistan. Iran reported that the UAV includes advanced intelligence gathering systems for electronic signals, images, communications and radar systems. General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, of the Revolutionary Guards’ Air Force and Aerospace Division, said at the time that the Iranian model “is easier, faster and consumes less fuel than its source.”
The drone that infiltrated Israel spent about a minute and a half in Israeli territory after crossing the Israel-Jordan border.
“We’ll study this UAV. This is the first time an Iranian drone has crossed into Israel and it is in our hands,” said IAF Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar, adding the army will take advantage of the opportunity to study the UAV. Bar said the drone was shot down without imposing any risk to civilians. He added the ary is not yet sure whether it was intended for surveillance and intelligence gathering or for an orchestrated attack on Israeli civilians.
**Yoav Zitun, Attila Somfalvi and Alexandra Lukash contributed to this report.