ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Syria on Tuesday threatened that Israel would face “more surprises” following the shoot-down by Damascus’ air defense of an Israeli warplane over the weekend.
The F-16 jet was struck over northern Israel on Saturday as it came back after a raid on a Syrian position it blamed for launching an Iranian-made drone across the border.
Israel accuses Iran, who is supporting President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s ongoing civil war, of aiding terrorist groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Syria’s air defense responded to the advanced Israeli warplane by striking it with an SA-5 missile, wounding two pilots who managed to escape the aircraft.
“Have full confidence the aggressor will be greatly surprised because it thought this war—this war of attrition Syria has been exposed to for years—had made it incapable of confronting attacks,” Syria’s Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Sussan said.
“God willing, they will see more surprises whenever they try to attack Syria,” Sussan added, during a news conference in Damascus.
According to an anonymous Israeli official who shared an initial assessment with Reuters, “Israel retaliated by destroying around half of Syria’s anti-aircraft batteries.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said his country would not “accept any limitations” regarding its missions in Syria against suspected arms transfers from Iran to Hezbollah.
“We will continue to defend our vital security and other interests,” he told reporters during a tour of Israel’s border with Syria and Lebanon.
“I would like to paraphrase the well-known saying: ‘This is not the time to bark, this is the time to bite.’”