Israel raids inside Syria since 2013

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GETTYVladimir Putin has begged Benjamin Netanyahu to avoid actions that could fuel further conflict

Israel's Air Force downed the Iranian drone in airspace over northern Israel on Saturday morning, and followed the infiltration by attacking 12 targets in Syria, including three aerial defense batteries and four Iranian targets that are part of Iran's military establishment in Syria, the IDF said in a statement.

Earlier on Saturday, Israeli army shot down an Iranian drone launched from Syria and struck a number of Iranian targets in the war-torn country, according to the Israeli military.

Israel targeted what it said were Iranian positions inside Syria after one of its warplanes was hit by Syrian air defences and crashed.

- Israel's prime minister said Sunday his country delivered "severe blows" to Iranian and Syrian forces and vowed to take further action against its adversaries following the most serious Israeli engagement in Syria since the war there erupted nearly seven years ago.

It marked the first time Israel publicly acknowledged attacking what it identified as Iranian targets in Syria since the war began.

The F-16 fighter was on a mission to strike Iranian drone installations in Syria, where Iranian and Iran-backed forces have established a major foothold while fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

An automatic warning system was triggered by an Iranian drone - launched from Syria - that penetrated Israeli airspace in what appeared to be an attempt to collect intelligence. "I don't think anybody wants to escalate further".

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GETTYIran has dismissed claims that one of its drones had made an incursion

Israeli TV cameras caught the moment of a controlled explosion at the site of a fighter jet crash in northern Israel, which happened during the offensive. Israel also said it had recovered the remnants of the drone, which proved that it belonged to Iran. "Benjamin Netanyahu was in the opposition when the Israeli government attacked southern Lebanon and lost to Hezbollah in 2006, and he fears another escalation in which Hezbollah is substantially stronger after the experience it's gained on the Syrian battlefield", Blumenthal told RT.

He said from the 348 RFMF soldiers on the ground, around 80 plus soldiers were in Syria and the rest were deployed on the Israeli side.

Meanwhile, Lebanon's National News Agency reports an errant anti-aircraft missile "fired by the Israeli enemy" fell in a Lebanese citrus grove. "Iran only provides military advice to Syria", foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying on Iranian television.

Israeli officials continue to pretend that matters in Syria are under control, as the military referred to the operation as a "complete operational success".

Israeli security forces examine the remains of an F-16 Israeli war plane near the village of Harduf, Israel February 10, 2018. Syrian government forces and their allies have generally refrained from responding, wary of opening up yet another front in an already chaotic conflict. At one of these bases, Khmeimim Air Base, not far from the Mediterranean shore, is the Russian command bunker for its forces in Syria, which has a direct line of communication with the Israeli high command.

The F-16 had been hit by anti-aircraft fire over Syria but came down in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has called for an immediate de-escalation in Syria after Israel carried out air strikes inside the country that has been ravaged by civil war since 2011. On a visit to Israel last month, US Vice President Mike Pence called Iran the world's "leading state sponsor of terror". He added that the anti-aircraft missiles were likely either Russian SA-5 or SA-17 surface-to-air missiles operated by Syria.

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