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Downing of Israeli Jet Proves Syrian Army's Power: Lebanese Analyst

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Two Israeli air force F-15s

Israeli news website Ynet quoted the Israeli army spokesperson's office as saying "the Syrians and Iranians are playing with fire".

The Israeli military called the suspected drone infiltration by Iran a "severe and irregular violation of Israeli sovereignty" and added that Iran will be held responsible for escalating tensions along the northern border.

Iran, meanwhile, denounced the news of successful Israeli strikes as "lies" and said Syria had the right to self-defense in response to Israeli strikes.

Reuters reports that Israel announced it had undertaken a number of airstrikes Saturday after it says an Iranian drone violated its airspace and an Israeli fighter jet was shot down by what Israel says was Syrian anti-aircraft fire.

It said it sent its jets into Syria after shooting down an Iranian drone over Israeli territory earlier on Saturday. The identity of the downed Israeli warplane was not confirmed either. Gen Bar said it faced massive anti-aircraft fire, forcing the two pilots to eject.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an emergency meeting of his security cabinet on the Sabbath - a day when much of Israel is closed.

According to the Israeli military, the confrontation began with the drone entering its airspace.

The army said it was "monitoring events and is fully prepared for further action, depending on assessments and necessity".

The Britain-based Observatory, which monitors the Syria war through a network of activists on the ground, says the second round targeted outposts in the southwestern suburbs of Damascus.

Footage from northern Israel showed what appeared to be white aircraft debris scattered on the ground.

Iran along with Russian Federation - is a key supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose troops have been fighting rebel groups since 2011.

"We can hear the sounds of the explosions", said one Damascus resident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

After that, Israel delivered a heavy strike on the air defense and the Iranian objects in Syria, hitting twelve targets in the neighboring country, Israel's Defense Forces said.

Israel has repeatedly warned in recent weeks against the presence of Iranian forces in neighbouring Syria.

Israel fears Iran could use Syrian territory to stage attacks or create a land corridor from Iran to Lebanon that could allow it to transfer weapons more easily to Hezbollah - Lebanon's Iranian-backed political party and militant group sworn to Israel's destruction.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called to respect Syria's sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the countries in the Middle East following the aerial attacks of Israeli Occupation Forces against the targets in central Syria.

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