PUTIN IS PISSED AND ASSAD JUNIOR IS LAUNCHING SOUTHERN OFFENSIVE 2-17-2018

I said a pissed off Putin is a very dangerous Putin. Well, blog readers, Vlad the Impaler is seriously pissed about his pilot being killed, and we have the body count in Syria to prove it. Since the downing of the Russian fighter jet, and the murder of its pilot, Putin has unleashed wave after wave of bombing missions. Putin has not made any attempt to limit what we here in the West call “collateral damage.” Vlad the Impaler thinks if you are within a quarter mile of a legitimate military target, and Vlad’s a bit loose on that definition, you are fair game to be burnt to ashes.  Let’s just say that Vlad has greatly expanded the “free fire zone,” for his bombers. The Syrian Air Force is joined at the hip with Russia’s Air Force, so any terrorist gets a two for one bomb deal. Putin also likes his cruise missiles, so far with only conventional warheads, and likely sits in his command chair and watches the live video of the explosions. At any rate, the Russian pilot’s death has unleashed the dogs of war in Syria. It isn’t like the dogs of war were ever actually in the kennel. I have no doubt they are roaming freely and chewing on anything they find.

The first link indicates that Erdogan’s contempt for the USA, and especially his contempt for our Secretary of State, is nearly unlimited at this point. We see Erdogan isn’t wasting any time in pouring more troops over the Syrian border.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961128000805

Turkish Army Dispatches More Military Equipment to Border with Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish Army forwarded more troops and military hardware to the border with Syria to continue assault on the Kurdish militias as a number of Arab media outlets have claimed that the Syrian army plans to deploy in Afrin to stand against the Turkish aggression.

Next, we see that Assad Junior is making a military push to restore the full territorial integrity of Syria, and prevent the Kurds, the Turks, NATO and the USA from slicing his country up like a sausage.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961128001213

Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:27
Syrian Army Deploys Heavy Flamethrower System to Idlib for Imminent Operation

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army has deployed the TOS-1A, the latest version of the original Russia-made TOS-1 heavy flamethrower system, to Southern Idlib as the countdown has started for an imminent operation against terrorists in the region, a Russian media outlet reported.

The Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted the Russian One website as reporting that the army has deployed TOS-1 A system also known as Solentsik to Southern Idlib to provide back up for the ground troops’ imminent operation in the region.

The TOS-1A heavy flamethrower system is intended for direct fire support of advancing infantry and main battle tanks, and moves in their combat orders. It is designed to engage military personnel, fortifications and light armored vehicles. The heavy flamethrower system is generally similar to multiple launch rocket systems, however it fires different types of rockets and has a shorter firing range.

Sputnik further said that TOS-1A is one of the most powerful launchers with broader range worldwide, adding that the Syrian Army utilized the system in a battle in Idlib province in January.

It added that only one time fire of the system can cover an area as large as 4sq/km.

Military field sources reported earlier today that the Russian and Syrian fighter jets carried out joint combat sorties over terrorist-held regions in Southern Idlib, destroying a main base and killing or wounding a number of militants.

The sources said that the warplanes pounded a main base of the terrorists near the town of Tarmalah in Southern Idlib.

They further said that the base was destroyed and tens of terrorists, including a number of non-Syrians, were killed in the air attack.

A sum of 12 military vehicles of the terrorists were destroyed, the sources said, adding that several commanders, including Abu Omar al-Haskawi, were among the terrorists killed in the raid.

Finally, we have this very interesting statement saying Turkey and the USA have made a “deal” allowing Turkey, or its proxies, to use WMD’s against the Kurds.

The link is here.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961128000293

Tillerson’s Visit to Ankara Seen as Green Light to Turkey’s Chemical Attack against Kurds

TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkey-backed militants engaged in Operation Olive Branch in Northwestern Syria launched a chemical attack on the Kurdish population in the village of Aranda in Afrin as Ankara and Washington declared a number of agreements at the end of the US state secretary’s visit to Ankara.

Syrian state media SANA reported that at least six civilians were hospitalized after the attack.

“Six people have been admitted with symptoms of suffocation as a result of the use of projectiles with poisonous gas by the Turkish regime in the town of Aranda,” SANA quoted the hospital’s director, Joan Mohammed, as saying.

Medics are working to determine the type of gas used, Mohammed said.

Local journalist Mohammed Hassan tweeted pictures of patients, who were purported to be victims of the attack, wearing breathing masks.

The hospital director said four of the victims were stable and two were in critical condition.

YPG Spokesman Birusk Hasaka confirmed that Kurds came under what appears to be a chemical attack during Turkey’s offensive on a village, saying that the symptoms of the six people affected are consistent with exposure to a gas poisoning.

The attack was launched by the FSA militants who are backed by Ankara and at the end of Rex Tillerson’s visit to Turkey, raising speculations that the attack was launched after a US green light.

Washington’s silence on the attack that has reinvigorated speculations about its suspicious role in the incident comes as it has repeatedly accused the Syrian army forces of conducting chemical weapons against militants, a claim always rejected by Damascus.

Experts believe the US selective approach is yet another indicator of Washington’s willingness to make an instrumental use of chemical warfare.

Syrian Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad said on Wednesday that Washington is uneasy about the achievements of the Syrian Arab Army and therefore it spreads misleading news claiming that the Syrian forces are using chemical weapons in the Eastern Ghouta, Idlib and other areas.

“We call on the United Nations to investigate into the actions and practices of the United States, which threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Syria and aim at the liquidation of the Syrian people, contradicting the objectives and principles of the UN,” according to a statement read by Mikdad at the Ministry HQ, SANA reported.

“There is still no evidence of the use of chemical weapons by Syria and all the accusations are based on false allegations made by the so-called Syrian Civil Defense Organization (white helmets), which actually appeared through publishing news and videos proved to be false,” Mikdad added.

On the period between January 15 and 17 in 2018, terrorists in Idlib used chemical weapons twice against the advanced Syrian forces, Mikdad said, adding that “our soldiers were attacked by chlorine gas near the town of Hawin to the South of Idlib and the town of Sinjar and that made our soldiers in need for medical treatment.”

Mikdad wondered about the role of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) which was designed to control the spread and use of chemical weapons, considering that such an act by the OPCW and the lack of desire of Western countries to take practical measures in response to the use of chemical weapons raise serious questions regarding the direct impact on the activities of international organizations of the United Nations.

He said that OPCW is ineffective when it comes to investigating chemical attacks on the Syrian soil, as the facts collected by it are limited to researches that were published on websites and interviews with witnesses in other countries, while the investigation must be credible and serious and it should be done in the place where the alleged incident occurred.

In summary, we see Putin is now bombing the crap out of anybody, anywhere in Syria, he even thinks is a terrorist, including both US and Turkey’s proxies. Further, Erdogan now, apparently, thinks he has a deal to pour more troops into Syria, and use nerve gas against Kurdish civilians. Finally, Assad Junior, along with Putin, is now launching a final offensive to restore most of Southern Syria, Eastern Syria and Northern Syria. His push north will put both Assad Junior, and Putin, in combat with the Kurds, Turkish forces, and Turkish proxies, as well as US troops and their Coalition proxies. Now, what could possibly go wrong in this scenario?

I make my living, such as it is, from e-book sales, so please consider going to the links below and buying some. You can even tell all your friends to buy them. Heck, stop people on the street and tell them to buy my e-books!

Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
My end of the world e book “Day of the Dogs” will soon be available for sale at smashwords. The url is
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/267340 It is also at the following url
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007BRLFYU

 

 

 

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ASSAD JUNIOR TO DEPLOY COMBAT FORCES TO DEFEND AFRIN FROM TURKEY! 2-16-2018

I literally can’t keep up with the situation in Syria. The on the ground situation is now changing so rapidly, and not in a good way, it is hard to tell exactly who is doing what, and why they are doing it. Still, the link below is a trip wire guaranteeing direct combat between Assad junior’s military and advancing Turkish troops. Since Turkey is nominally a NATO member, the potential for a NATO/Turkey fight between Assad Junior, the Kurds, Iran and Hezzbollah just skyrocketed. The USA is also right in the middle of the boiling pot. In fact, Tillerson is looking even more feckless than I thought yesterday. What will the USA do when both the Kurds and Assad junior’s forces light up the advancing armor columns now headed toward Afrin, and likely Manbji? My only advice would be for any US troops there would be to DUCK AND COVER. As usual with the Iranian FARS news service, things are somewhat muddy. The main article says the Assad junior is a done deal, and the final paragraph says it isn’t. Well, I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens. I said Assad Junior doesn’t want either Turkey or the Kurds telling him what to do. The story indicates the kind of real politic the Kurds are learning. The Kurds have obviously concluded they will get a better “deal” from Assad Junior than they will from the raving lunatic Erdogan. Hour by hour, and day by day, Syria is sliding into total chaos, and heading towards a military confrontation not seen since the October of 1973 Yom Kippur War. The one I was in San Antonio, Texas, Fort Sam Houston taking my medic training. Oh yeah, things are going to get real interesting now.

Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
My end of the world e book “Day of the Dogs” will soon be available for sale at smashwords. The url is
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/267340 It is also at the following url
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007BRLFYU

The link is here.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961127000240

Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:16
Syrian Army to Deploy in Kurdish-Held Afrin

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian government and the Kurdish fighters have reached an agreement over deployment of the Syrian Army troops in Afrin region amid advances of the Turkish army troops and Ankara-backed militants in Northern Aleppo, an Arab media outlet reported on Friday.

The al-Mayadeen tv quoted well-informed sources as saying that the Syrian government and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) agreed on the deployment of the Syrian Army troops in Afrin region which has come under attack by the Turkish army troops and their allied militants in recent weeks.

It added that the newly-concluded agreement is aimed at confronting the Turkish’s operation in Afrin.  

A senior Kurdish official said in late January that the Syrian army forces’ deployment in Afrin was welcomed as war was ravaging between the Kurds and the Turkish army.

The Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news channel quoted the source as saying at the time that the Kurds welcomed the Syrian army’s presence in Afrin after the Syrian government proposed some solutions and made an agreement with them.

He said that the Kurds were prepared to defend themselves, adding, “We are not enemies of the Syrian government but we want to be a part of the political process in the country; we will also deliver our weapons to the Syrian army once we reach a political solution.”

Meantime, the Iran-based Arabic-language al-Alam news channel quoted Behjat Abdou, the head of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) committee in Afrin, as saying that no agreement was made to deploy the Syrian army soldiers in Afrin, adding that the Kurds were highly prepared to repel the Turkish army attacks.

Turkey is also ramping up its armor deployments as this link shows.

Turkey deploys upgraded M60Ts to Afrin

James Bingham, London – Jane’s Defence Weekly
16 February 2018

Turkey has deployed upgraded M60T main battle tanks (MBTs) for its Operation ‘Olive Branch’ against Kurdish fighters in the Afrin region of northwest Syria.
Images taken on the Turkish side of the border near Afrin in mid-February show a number of M60Ts equipped with laser warning receivers (LWRs), situational awareness systems, and remotely operated weapon stations (ROWS) that form part of an indigenous upgrade package.

The upgraded version of the M60T was seen when Turkish forces participated in an exercise with Iraqis on the border between their two countries in September 2017, but this is the first time it is known to have been involved in a combat operation.

Not all the Turkish M60s being used in Operation ‘Olive Branch’ have had the upgrade, with several older variants such as M60A3s and baseline M60Ts also being photographed.

The M60T upgrade was unveiled in May 2017 at the IDEF defence exhibition in Istanbul and is the result of a partnership between Aselsan and the General Directorate of Military Factories (AFGM). The LWR, situational awareness systems, and SARP ROWS are all manufactured by Aselsan, with AFGM believed to be responsible for integrating them onto the platform.

Four sets of the LWR and situational awareness systems are mounted on the turret of the tank: two on either side of the arrow-shaped frontal appliqué armor and two on the slat armor at the rear. The LWS is mounted in a rectangular box and the situational awareness system with three apertures directly above it.

THE FINAL PIECES FOR SYRIAN DISASTER NOW IN PLACE 2-16-2018

I think the final moves are now being made for a total disaster in Syria. If all we get out of this is a regional war, we should count ourselves fortunate. The two key factors are Erdogan’s move to Syria’s eastern border with Iraq on the Euphrates River. Once he does that, he will directly engage US troops. The second decisive factor is with the slaughter of several hundred Russian mercs Putin’s hand has been forced. He is up for election after all. He simply can’t afford a major Syrian scandal at this point. It is a common tactic of desperate, totalitarian regimes, like Argentina going to war with Britain over the Falklands. The reason they did that was to prevent the mass demonstrations from bringing down the government. It didn’t work, but they started a war anyway.

I believe historical forces are now in play that can’t be bottled up any longer. It is the 100 year mark since the collapse of the historical Ottoman Empire, that’s the one Erdogan wants to restore, as well as the British and French partition of the Middle East. All things have a cycle from birth to death, and I think the Imperial model, the Colonial model imposed on the Middle East is reaching its expiration date.

I also think the various factions are aligning up nicely for the final confrontation that will trigger World War Three. We have a desperate Erdogan, fully seduced by his historical Ottoman fantasy. We have a Putin, now faced with a political crisis that threatens his rule. Next, we have a militant Iran, and its Hezzbollah clone, itching to light it up with Israel. We have Assad junior, who doesn’t want a Kurdish state in Syria anymore than Erdogan does. The combatants will align as follows: Iran, Hezzbollah, Assad Junior, Russia and Turkey against the US Coalition, the Kurds, NATO, and Israel. Israel wants to take down Iran, and Iran wants to take down Israel. Israel is also having its own political crisis.

Once this free for all gets going, and we could be looking at a two to four week time frame, depending on who shoots first, the French post from yesterday will be seen as prophetic. I am also saying that once it gets lit up, all the other players are going to get involved. The list would include Saudi Arabia, which despises Iran, they are Shia Muslims, and the Saudis are Sunni. Saudi Arabia also hates Hezzbollah in Lebanon. The Saudi government has also made direct threats against Lebanon, so it won’t take much to bring them in. Finally, the Shia Houhi tribe in Yemen, the one that is fighting Saudi Arabia already, will engage as an Iranian proxy. The result of that is both the Suez Canal, under threat from the Houthi, and the Straits of Hormuz, under threat from Iran, will be closed. Of course, all it would take is one missile and the insurance companies won’t insure the tankers. At that point, even if all Iran or the Houthi tribesmen did is threaten to shoot, it would be enough.

At any rate, things are coming into focus in Syria. We may somehow get a diplomatic solution to all of this, but after Tillerson and his dog and pony show with Erdogan things don’t look promising. In fact, I would say now that Tillerson’s plane wheels are off the tarmac Erdogan will unleash his military on the Kurds. And after that, to paraphrase the French King, the one before the final one, Apres moi, les deluge. After me, the deluge. He was predicting the French Revolution by the way, but it applies to Syria also.

Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
My end of the world e book “Day of the Dogs” will soon be available for sale at smashwords. The url is
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/267340 It is also at the following url
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007BRLFYU

FRANCE GETS NERVOUS ABOUT SYRIA 2-14-2018

In a sign of just how out of control Syria has the potential to become, Frances UN representative made a statement indicating just how serious the Syrian situation is. The link is below.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/140220183

France: Syria risks becoming ‘international confrontation’

By Rudaw 2 hours ago

NEW YORK – The conflict in Syria could expand to a “regional and international confrontation,” warned France’s ambassador to the United Nations. 

“Look at the situation in Syria: all the ingredients are present, if we do nothing about it urgently, for a major regional and international confrontation,” Ambassador Francois Delattre said on Wednesday in answer to a question from Rudaw’s Majeed Gly.

Delattre was on his way into a session of the UN Security Council that will discuss a resolution proposing a one-month humanitarian ceasefire in Syria.

The UN requested a ceasefire in order to allow delivery of humanitarian aid to desperate civilian populations after nearly seven years of war in the country that has drawn international actors into its complicated battle field. Russia and Iran are backing Damascus, the US and the global coalition are backing the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to fight ISIS, and Turkey is backing elements within Syrian rebel forces to combat ISIS and the Kurdish forces.

The potential for conflict between the United States and Russia was highlighted when reports emerged of possible Russian casualties in US-led coalition airstrikes on Syrian regime allies in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor province. 

NATO allies Turkey and the United States have verbally sparred over the northern Syrian town of Manbij, where the United States has forces training and assisting its Syrian allies in the war against ISIS – forces that Ankara alleges are a branch of the PKK, a named terror organization.

Last week, an Israeli jet crashed during retaliatory operations in Syria after an Iranian drone allegedly entered Israel’s airspace from Syria.

The threat of confrontation between the various international actors combined with the humanitarian emergency “is enough to call for a strong reaction” and support for the ceasefire, Delattre explained. “We believe that the strategic component of all this is now another source of great emergency and extreme concern for us and also, I guess, for many of my colleagues.”

Asked if Turkey would be obliged to cease its Operation Olive Branch in Afrin if the Security Council passes the resolution, the ambassador from Sweden, which is a co-sponsor of the draft resolution, declined to comment.

Russia said last week that a ceasefire was “not realistic.”

Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
My end of the world e book “Day of the Dogs” will soon be available for sale at smashwords. The url is
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/267340 It is also at the following url
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007BRLFYU

US COALITION KILLS RUSSIAN TROOPS IN SYRIA: PART TWO 2-13-2018

The battle on February 7th, 2018 was on a much greater scale than first reports indicated. It is now being reported that dozens of Russian “contract soldiers” were killed when they attacked Kurdish positions near the Euphrates River in Eastern Syria. Putin made the decision to cover this up. The cover up is now breaking and Putin finds himself in the position of being caught with his pants down.  The Syrian situation is headed south, fast.

The link is here.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-13/us-strikes-kill-100-russian-soldiers-syria

US Strikes Kill 100 Russian Fighters In Syria

US COALITION KILLS RUSSIAN TROOPS IN SYRIA 2-12-2018

We are facing two tripwires in Syria. The first is when Turkey finally attacks the Kurdish enclave in Manbji. The USA has 3,000 troops deployed with the Kurdish fighters there. Obviously, when Turkey attacks we will see direct combat between the US and Turkey. The second tripwire will be when US coalition forces attack and kill Russian soldiers. We now know that on February 7th, 2018 Russian soldiers were killed in the air attack on “Pro-Assad forces.” Putin has kept mum about this brazen attack by the US Coalition on his troops. He is playing a very dangerous political game by doing so. When the Russian people find out Russian troops were killed by US fighter planes, and Putin did nothing, he will have a major political crisis to deal with. At any rate the link below tells the story.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-12/russian-fighters-killed-clash-us-led-coalition-forces-syria

Russian Fighters Killed In Clash With US-Led Coalition Forces In Syria

With the calm of global capital markets shattered in the past two weeks, the ongoing military conflict in the Middle East has taken an understandable back seat to monetary matters. And yet, tensions involving Syria, Iran and Israel continue to escalate, most notably with this weekend’s outright attack by Israel on Syria, allegedly in retaliation for an Iranian drone launch from a Syrian army base, and which led to the first downing of an Israeli F-16 jet in decades.

Yet what has so far prevented the proxy way from spinning out of control, was that Putin – as guarantor of the Syria-Iran axis on one hand, and Netanyahu as his nemesis on the other, had expressed restraint. For now.

That may change, however, following a Reuters report  that Russian fighters were among those killed when U.S.-led coalition forces clashed with pro-government forces in Syria earlier this month.

While Russia’s Defense Ministry said at the time that pro-government militias involved in the incident had been carrying out reconnaissance “and no Russian servicemen had been in the area”, the story changed on Monday when it emerged that at least two Russian men fighting informally with pro-government forces were killed in the incident in Deir al-Zor province, their associates told Reuters.

One of the dead was named as Vladimir Loginov, a Cossack from Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave. Maxim Buga, a leader of the Cossack community there, said Loginov had been killed around Feb. 7 along with “dozens” of other Russian fighters.

The other man killed was named as Kirill Ananiev, described as a radical Russian nationalist. Alexander Averin, a spokesman for the nationalist party he was linked to, told Reuters Ananiev had been killed in shelling in the same fighting on Feb. 7.

If the deaths are confirmed, it could turn into a political scandal for Putin, with the public demanding why the government is keeping military deaths under wraps. Already Grigory Yavlinsky, a veteran liberal politician who is running for president in elections next month, has called on Putin to disclose how many Russians had been killed in Syria and in what circumstances.

“If there was large-scale loss of life of Russian citizens, the relevant officials, including the commander-in-chief of our armed forces (Putin), are obliged to tell the country about it and decide who carries responsibility for this,” Yavlinsky said in a statement released by his Yabloko party.

Of course, if indeed Russian soldiers were killed while fighting under covert circumstances – in the same way as killed US “military advisors” are kept under seal – that is the last thing Moscow would like to publicize. Unless of course the political calculus shifts, and Putin decides that it is time for a full-blown military escalation, in which case the deaths will be used as the justification behind any armed conflict.

Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
My end of the world e book “Day of the Dogs” will soon be available for sale at smashwords. The url is
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/267340 It is also at the following url
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007BRLFYU

ISRAEL THROWS DOWN THE GAUNTLET TO IRAN 2-11-2018

The situation in the Middle East is getting worse. All of the key players: Turkey, Iran, Syria, Israel, Hezzbollah, Russia and the Kurds are now fully primed for a regional war. The rhetoric is increasingly heated. The military forces are being deployed. Iran’s shootdown of the IDF F-16 really has changed the game. Israel can no longer assume air superiority for the simple reason Iran, Hezzbollah and Assad junior’s forces now have a very credible anti-aircraft defense system. The Kurds also just shot down a Turkish helicopter. It was the Stinger anti-aircraft missile that defeated Russia in Afghanistan. It is the manpad, shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles, that have changed the game in Syria. The deployment of anti-armor missiles has allowed the Kurds to engage Turkish armor. The deployment of shoulder fired missiles has allowed the Kurds to engage Turkey’s F-16’s and helicopters. I would say this fact most resembles the first introduction of the machine gun. The field is now even between advanced military forces, with their F-16’s and tanks, and modern infantry supplied with anti-armor, and anti-aircraft missiles. The new military reality is one infantry man can now take out a plane, or a helicopter, or a tank with one of these shoulder fired missiles. Further, the military implications of that fact; namely, one infantry man can destroy an F-16, or an Apache helicopter costing millions, with one missile costing 100,000 dollars means a military reset is now underway. The rise of unmanned drones is one response to the threat. Iran is now saying they are building hundreds of drones, fitted with “smart bombs,” for use in combat.

The war of rhetoric continues unabated with Iranian comments that are going to make Israel very nervous. Israel, well Israel isn’t holding back either. The link below indicates that the situation may very well get even worse, and faster than some think.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/israel-warns-over-irans-presence-syria-air-strikes-155202407.html

Israel warns over Iran’s presence in Syria after air strikes

Mike Smith

,

AFP

Jerusalem (AFP) – Israel issued stark warnings on Sunday over Iran’s presence in neighbouring Syria after a confrontation threatened to open a new and unpredictable period in the country’s seven-year civil war.

Israel carried out major air raids in Syria on Saturday, including against what it described as Iranian targets — the first time it had publicly acknowledged doing so since the war began.

The raids came after an Israeli F16 fighter was shot down by Syrian air defences. The pilots survived, but it was Israel’s first loss of a warplane in battle since 1982.

“We inflicted on Saturday a heavy blow to Iranian and Syrian forces,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

“We made clear to everyone that our rules of engagement will not change in any way. We will continue to harm anyone who tries to harm us. This was our policy and this will remain our policy.”

For more news videos visit Yahoo View.

Other Israeli ministers spoke of refusing to accept Iran entrenching itself militarily in Syria, as Netanyahu has said repeatedly. Tehran denies it is doing so.

While several analysts said they did not expect a further escalation in the coming days, some spoke of the possibility of the Syrian war entering a new phase.

Syria has become more emboldened to try to stop Israeli strikes inside the country, while Israel wants to maintain its ability to operate there when it sees fit, said Ofer Zalzberg of the International Crisis Group think tank.

Israel has sought to stay out of direct involvement in the Syrian war, but it acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes there to stop what it describes as deliveries of advanced weapons to Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah.

Israel fought a devastating war in 2006 with Hezbollah, which along with Iran and Russia backs the Syrian regime in the conflict.

“I think this incident is more likely to be contained because fundamentally it is a gradual attempt to renegotiate the so-called rules of the game,” Zalzberg said, adding that Russia should mediate.

Witnesses said Israel had deployed a missile defence system in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights near the demarcation line with Syria on Sunday morning.

– ‘Playing with fire’ –

Saturday’s events began with Israel shooting down what it described as an Iranian drone that had entered Israeli airspace from Syria — which Tehran has denied.

On Sunday, Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus alleged the drone was a copy of a US model captured by Iran in 2011. He said the conclusion was made from an analysis of the drone’s debris.

Israel responded on Saturday with a raid on what it said was the Iranian control systems in Syria that sent the drone.

During that raid, the Israeli F16 met heavy Syrian anti-aircraft fire and was hit, Israeli Air Force Brigadier General Amnon Ein Dar told army radio.

The pilots ejected and the plane crashed inside Israel. One crew member was severely wounded, but his condition was said to be improving on Sunday.

Israel then carried out what it called “large-scale” air strikes inside Syria, including against what it described as Iranian targets.

Conricus warned on Saturday that Syria and Iran were “playing with fire”, but stressed that Israel was not seeking an escalation.

“This is the most blatant and severe Iranian violation of Israeli sovereignty” in recent years, Conricus said.

Iran dismissed Israeli “lies” and said Syria had the right to defend itself against Israeli attacks.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said “Iran does not have a military presence in Syria, and has only sent military advisers at the request of the Syrian government.”

Russia stressed the need to “avoid any measure that could lead to a dangerous escalation”.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate de-escalation.

Netanyahu spoke with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after Saturday’s confrontation.

Washington backed Israel and blamed Iran for the escalation.

Tillerson on Sunday begins a Middle East tour that will take him to Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Kuwait.

Netanyahu has met regularly with Putin in recent months in a bid to convince Russia to keep Iranian forces away from Israeli territory.

Russia and Israel have also established a hotline to avoid accidental clashes in Syria.

Israel is technically at war with Syria and occupies a swathe of the Golan Heights that it seized in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
My end of the world e book “Day of the Dogs” will soon be available for sale at smashwords. The url is
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/267340 It is also at the following url
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007BRLFYU