Tehran has dismissed Tel Aviv’s claims concerning an Iranian UAV and a downed Israeli jet as “ridiculous.” An Iranian commander also warned Iran could unleash “hell” on the “Zionist regime” and destroy 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,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said. He added that Iranian officials are acting in Syria only as advisers and do so “at the request of the… legitimate and lawful government.”
Qassemi added that Syria is a sovereign state and its government and armed forces, have a “legitimate right to defend [its] territorial integrity and counter any kind of foreign aggression.” In the early hours of Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed they intercepted an Iranian UAV, which crossed from the territory of Syria into Israel. In response, Israel conducted airstrikes on Iranian positions in Syria.
The Israeli military later said that one Israeli F-16 crashed due to the “massive Syrian anti-air fire.” The pilots ejected and survived the incident. In response to the crash, the IDF said it struck 12 Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria, including air defense batteries. Damascus denounced Israeli actions as “aggression.”
Touching upon the US policy towards Iran and the sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic, Salami said that Iran remains strong against all odds and could potentially destroy “all American military bases in the region by launching attacks from inside the country.”
Tensions between Israel and Iran rapidly flared up following the Saturday incident. The IDF warned Syria and Iran against “violating” its sovereignty by saying that both countries would pay a heavy price if they defy this warning. It also said that Tehran and Damascus are “playing with fire.”