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February 10th, 2018 – Fort Russ News –
– By J. Flores for FRN – 

DAMASCUS, Syria – In a stunning turn of events, the Syrian Arab Army has carried out successful defensive attacks on aggressive Israeli aircraft. Today’s incidents follow weeks of rising tensions, which saw a Russian pilot downed and killed, and direct attacks on Syrian Arab Army allied forces by US bombers.

The Syrian Arab Army Air Force has downed an Israeli F-16 and an Apache helicopter. This is the first time Syrian forces have directly downed an Israeli jet since the conflict in 1982. Today marks a turning point in this conflict, which has hitherto seen Syria take a ‘turn the other cheek’ approach to opportunistic Israeli attacks, as the previously beleaguered Syrian state and army was not in a position to respond directly. 

Syria appears to be saying today, that its period of pronounced vulnerability has changed: Syria will directly respond to any attacks on its sovereign forces.

The remains of the Israel F-16 jet in the northern Israeli Kibbutz of Harduf CREDIT:  JACK GUEZ

Israel for its part claims it sent an F-16 jet to take out an Iranian drone, which it claims entered into Israeli territory from Syria earlier on this morning, Saturday February 10th, but this account is challenged by Syrian accounts as well as accounts from the Israeli mission briefing.

The Israeli military said it then faced massive anti-aircraft fire from Syrian forces that forced two pilots to eject from aircraft, which crashed in northern Israel. A Spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) stated today, Saturday morning, that Israeli warplanes struck more than a dozen Syrian and Iranian military targets in western Syria.

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The IDF spokesperson reveals that: “Moments ago, IAF aircraft, targeted the Syrian Aerial Defense System & Iranian targets in Syria; targets, including 3 aerial defense batteries & 4 Iranian military targets, were attacked. Anti-aircraft missiles were fired towards Israel, triggering alarms in northern Israel,”.

Damascus confirms that the Israeli Air Force fired several rockets towards the West Ghouta region, hitting numerous Syrian military sites near the occupied Golan Heights.  Several Syrian soldiers have been wounded. The source added that at least two Israeli rockets were intercepted by the Syrian Air Defense. They also confirm that in several related counter-attacks, Syrian forces had downed an Israeli F-16 and an Apache attack helicopter

Netanyahu escalates tension with Syria knowing that the Syrian Arab Army has been battling ISIS and other Saudi and Turkish supported terrorist groups for the last 7 years, and that Syria is in no position to go to war with Israel at this time. 

Israelis have been bombing Syria regularly during this period, and today’s firm response from the Syrian army sends a loud message as a US made and tax payer donated F-16 jet was shot down over Syrian air space. 

The unexpected Syrian retaliation embarrassed Netanyahu who is already in a precarious position awaiting a possible corruption trial. The Israelis cannot sit idle, but war either also appears as a losing proposition. Since the last war with Lebanon over a decade ago, Hezbollah have developed their own missile technology, and tremendous experience in the Syrian conflict, in which it acts as an invited friendly force, assisting the anti-terrorist work of the Syrian Arab Army. 

In related news today, the Kurdish YPG downed a Turkish helicopter.

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