Damascus warns Israeli military of 'more surprises' on Syrian soil

Syria threatens to respond any future Israeli aggression

On the contrary, Russia, Iran and Turkey are betting they can eventually push the United States out of Syria, allowing Turkey to overrun the Kurds, the Assad regime to regain full political control and Iran to dig in on Israel's northern border.

The conflict of nearly seven years has already drawn in several other nations, including the US, Russia and Turkey.

Israel's concern is well-founded.

The Syrian military and its allies are denying that the unmanned drone Israel says it shot down violated the Jewish state's airspace, saying it was on a regular mission gathering intelligence on Islamic State militants.

Tehran and Tel Aviv have clashed after a Israeli fighter jet was shot down by Iran-backed Syrian forces over the weekend.

Damascus has warned that Israel can expect "further surprises" if it launches more attacks Syrian soil after one of its jets was shot down on Saturday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said Israeli forces would press ahead with Syria operations despite their loss of the advanced warplane, the first it has lost to enemy fire in 36 years. "This has the potential to turn into a regional war", said Bilal Saab, an expert at the Washington-based Middle East Institute.

The powder keg was lit in March 2011, amid the Arab Spring uprisings against autocratic regimes.

The fact is that Tehran has stood firmly with Syrian President Bashar Assad and provided resources in terms of men and materials. "A good way to achieve both objectives would be back Israel's response to Iran's aggression - now and in the future". Who cares if they die?

The Defense secretary noted that everyone is "aware of when the Quds Force leadership is in Iraq or in Syria". President Vladimir Putin has not officially confirmed this to his country. "Such an approach could help prevent a larger-scale conflict". Everyone is picking a side, while Turkey and the Assad regime, the regime and the U.S., the U.S. and Turkey, Russia and the U.S., Turkey and Iran, Israel and Iran are pointing their guns at one and other. As stated in the above, Israel has repeatedly conducted air strikes to thaw Iran's attempts to transfer weapons to Hezbollah.

Iran, understandably, wants to be the key outside power player in Syria.

Meanwhile, Israeli planes continued their attack on Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria. "If Syrians confirm it [the report on downing the drone], we will confirm it, as well", Salami said.

Israel's Minister of Intelligence Yisrael Katz reportedly said on Sunday that his country sent a clear message to Iran by hitting key Iranian sites in Syria.

Who is claiming the upper hand? Assad's forces have retaken the cities of Raqqa and Aleppo from IS troops, although small pockets of fighters still hold out in parts of the country.

Iran unveiled the Mohajer 6 drone, which is "equipped with the smart Qa'em precision-striking bombs and different electro-optical explorers and different warheads, [and] can trace, intercept and destroy the target", Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said in a speech around the anniversary of the the Islamic Revolution. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said the US intervention has no end date and the size of the USA force will increase.

The war has killed almost half a million people and forced five million to flee, the majority to neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan. "The big test will be the test of war". According to the United Nations, almost three million Syrian children have lived their entire lives gripped by civil war.

"When the airplane was hit, people were thinking that this was going to be more serious".

In 2003 I wrote a column in the run-up to the USA toppling of Saddam Hussein, which I supported, in which I warned: "The first rule of any Iraq invasion is the pottery store rule: You break it, you own it".

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