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Israel warns Iran, Syria playing with fire by "aggression"
Last Updated: 2018-02-11 07:32 | Xinhua
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A member of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) looks through binoculars from Mount Bental, an observation post in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights near the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria, on Feb. 10, 2018. The Israeli army launched a large-scale attack against the Syrian aerial defense system and Iranian targets in Syria after an Israeli F-16 fighter was hit by missiles from Syria and crashed on Saturday morning. (Xinhua/JINI)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday evening that Israel holdsIranandSyriaresponsible for the latest "aggression."

"We will continue to do whatever is necessary to protect our sovereignty and security", said Netanyahu in a statement.

The prime minister said 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," he noted.

Netanyahu accused Iran of violating Israel's sovereignty by dispatching a drone from Syrian territory into Israel on Saturday morning.

"This demonstrates that our warnings were 100 percent correct," he said.

During an earlier tour of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Northern Command, Netanyahu also expressed Israel's determination to defend itself.

"I am impressed by the major work the IDF is doing to defend our borders and our state. We want peace but we are prepared for any scenario and I suggest that no one test us," he said.

Meanwhile, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin commended security forces for their "firm and resolute defense measures in the face of further proof of the danger of Iranian consolidation in the region."

In a briefing at noon on Saturday, IDF Spokesman Jonathan Conricus warned that the Syrians and Iranians are "playing with fire."

"We are willing, prepared and capable to extract a heavy price from anyone that attacks us" despite the fact that Israel is "not interested to escalate the situation," Conricus said.

Earlier on Saturday, Israel launched a large-scale attack against Iranian and Syrian military targets in Syria in response to the downing of an Israeli F-16 fighter jet by missiles.

Four Iranian targets in Syria and eight Syrian ones belonging to the Fourth Syrian division near Damascus were attacked, according to the IDF.

The chain of events started at about 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, when an Iranian drone penetrated into Israeli air space, said the IDF.

The Israeli army intercepted the drone with an Apache helicopter over Israeli territories, and then launched an attack on the control facility of the drone located in Syria, it added.

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