U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did not hesitate on Saturday to express America’s support for the Jewish State after an Iranian drone infiltrated Israeli territory.
“The United States is deeply concerned about today’s escalation of violence over Israel’s border and strongly supports Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself,” said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on behalf of Tillerson.
“Iran’s calculated escalation of threat and its ambition to project its power and dominance, places all the people of the region — from Yemen to Lebanon — at risk. The U.S. continues to push back on the totality of Iran’s malign activities in the region and calls for an end to Iranian behavior that threatens peace and stability.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likewise warned on Saturday that the Jewish State “holds Iran and its Syrian hosts responsible for today’s aggression.” Netanyahu pointed out that he has “been warning for some time about the dangers of Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria. Iran seeks to use Syrian territory to attack Israel for its professed goal of destroying Israel.”
The infiltration by the Iranian drone — which spent 90 seconds in Israeli territory before it was intercepted and destroyed — prompted retaliation by the Israeli Air Force, which bombed a dozen Syrian and Iranian targets across the northern border, including the drone control site, while under fire from anti-aircraft missile batteries.
The Syrian missiles downed an Israeli F-16 fighter jet over Israeli territory, forcing its two pilots to eject. One of the pilots was badly injured; the other sustained minor wounds. Both were taken to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.