Iran has called reports that they sent a UAV into Israeli airspace "ridiculous," while an Iranian commander warns that they could unleash "hell" on the "Zionist regime" by destroying all US bases in the area.
“The claim about the flight of an Iranian drone and Iran’s involvement in the downing of a Zionist fighter jet is so ridiculous that it does not merit a comment,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi, while claiming that Iranian officials are only advising the Syrians “at the request of the… legitimate and lawful government.”
Moreover, any "aggressive actions" by Israel would trigger a serious response by Iran, creating "hell for the Zionists" according to Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards. His statement below:
The Zionist regime in the Muslim world was shaped by the will of the United States and Britain, and they built a cemetery from the Islamic world. You have heard the story of the domination of the world of arrogance after World War II, the tragic story of Muslim slaughter in the wars that Britain has launched and know the role of the United States and Britain in the formation of the Zionist regime, or aware of the defeats of the Arab armies of the Zionist regime by American support.
The United States was banning us and wanted to be paralyzed, but we advanced, and today, from this point on, today we can destroy all American bases in the region and create hell for Zionists.
Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran is more powerful than ever. We trust in God; this was a confession two years ago when we seized the American Marines and the American inability to confront us. -Gen. Hossein Salami via Tasnim News (translated)
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Israeli Prime Minister Benajamin Netanyahu in a Saturday phone call to avoid an escalation of the situation in Syria, reports Reuters, while Netanyahu asserted Israel's right to "defend against aggression."
“They discussed the situation around the actions of the Israeli air force, which carried our missile strikes on targets in Syria,” Interfax quoted the Kremlin as saying.
The phone conversation took place less than two weeks after a face-to-face meeting between the Israeli and Russian leaders in Moscow, the duo's seventh face to face meeting in two years, in which the two leaders who are currently reshaping the middle east in the power vacuum left by the US, were said to have discussed military cooperation on Syria and Iran’s influence in the region. It is unclear whether today's events were part of the talking points.
Netanyahu also spoke with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Saturday where he reiterated Israel's stance. Tillerson is about to embark this weekend on a five-nation tour of the Middle East, visiting Turkey, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon.
"Our policy is clear," said Netanyahu. "Israel will defend itself against any aggression and any attempt to violate its sovereignty," adding "Iran undertook such attempt today. It violated our sovereignty, and infiltrated its drone into Israeli airspace from Syria."
This morning Iran brazenly violated Israel’s sovereignty. They dispatched an Iranian drone from Syrian territory into Israel. Israel holds Iran and its Syrian hosts responsible for today’s aggression pic.twitter.com/UNuz81VQQM— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) February 10, 2018
As we reported earlier, Anti-aircraft fire downed an Israeli F-16 returning from a bombing raid on an Iranian UAV facility early Saturday.