Israel Believes Round of Hostilities With Iran and Syria Is Over, but Another Is All but Inevitable

Based on statements by Iranian officials, Iran has achieved all it could in the current round and is now looking to deter Israel from striking Syria again

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Explosions in Syria amid escalation with Israel, February 10, 2018
Explosions in Syria amid escalation with Israel, February 10, 2018Credit: Gil Eliahu

Israel's security establishment believes the current round of fighting with Iran and Syria in the north – during which Israel stuck targets in Syria and an Israeli F-16 fighter jet was shot down – has all but come to an end. The widely agreed upon assessment is that the sides have achieved all they could in the current round.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz

However, Israel also believes that in the long run, another clash with the Iranians in Syria is almost inevitable.

These assessments rely, among other things, on statements made by senior Iranian figures in the past 24 hours. Iran and Syria are looking to "strategically leverage" the unusual achievement of shooting down the plane, through public declaration about having changed the rules of the game in the north and threatening a severe response to any additional Israeli attacks in Syria or Lebanon.

WATCH: Israel shots down Iranian droneNetanyahu struggles to draw red lines in Putin's Syria playground | Analysis ■ Seven comments on the escalating Israeli-Iranian game of chicken | Analysis Assad moves from threats to action | Analysis ■ Israel risks forcing Russia to adopt pro-Iranian stance | Analysis

While Saturday's day of fighting began with the downing of an Iranian drone by the Israel Air Force after it entered Israeli airspace, most of the strikes over the past several years were – according to Arabic-language media - aimed at arms depots and weapon shipments ultimately meant for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran and Syria are trying to deter Israel from further aerial strikes by threatening to respond with anti-aircraft fire and a deliberate escalation as a reaction to any future Israeli action.

Local authorities in the Golan Heights and in the Galilee were instructed by the Israeli army to return to their normal routine. On Sunday, local situation rooms returned to normal after a day of high alert.

The Israeli military said it shot down an Iranian drone on Saturday that infiltrated the country and struck the Iranian site from which it was launched. Syrian air-defense missiles hit an Israeli F-16 fighter jet, prompting the pilots to eject. Following the downing of the jet, Israel carried out what an Air Force general said was the "largest and most significant" strike in Syria since 1982.

VIDEO: Israeli F-16 fighter jet crashes after shot down by Syrian missiles

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can