Following yesterday’s escalation in the conflict between Israel and Iranian-led forces along the border of Israel and Syria, many Americans are anticipating an increased US-role in the the regional conflict between state and non-state actors in Syria and Northern Israel. The response to the downing of an Israeli F-16 Fighting Falcon by the United States and Israel tells us a lot about what to expect next.
Immediately following the downing of the F-16 over the Golan Heights in Northern Israel, the IDF put out a statement.
Here’s a quick summary of today’s events, from the #Iranian UAV to our large-scale strike against the #Syrian air-defense. The IDF will stand guard against any further attacks. pic.twitter.com/ntoHRiv1Z6
— Jonathan Conricus (@LTCJonathan) February 10, 2018
In almost perfect unison with the Israeli statement, US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert released a formal statement via twitter which seconded the Israeli version of events and condemned Iran’s aggression near Israel’s border with Syria.
We are deeply concerned about today's escalation of violence and support #Israel's right to defend itself. We continue to push back on the totality of #Iran's malign activities which threaten peace and stability in the region. pic.twitter.com/OfFB9cE2tB
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) February 10, 2018
Following the downing of the Israeli jet, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Israeli Prime Minister Benajamin Netanyahu in a phone call to avoid an escalation of the situation in Syria. On the phone call, Netanyahu asserted Israel’s right to defend Israel against continued aggression.
Brigadier General Hossein Salami, Deputy Head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards released a statement that further isolated Iran and Russia in their regional efforts and exposed the aggressions for what they really are: an assault on the Jewish State. Salami’s statement read:
The Zionist regime in the Muslim world was shaped by the will of the United States and Britain, and they built a cemetery from the Islamic world. You have heard the story of the domination of the world of arrogance after World War II, the tragic story of Muslim slaughter in the wars that Britain has launched and know the role of the United States and Britain in the formation of the Zionist regime, or aware of the defeats of the Arab armies of the Zionist regime by American support.
The United States was banning us and wanted to be paralyzed, but we advanced, and today, from this point on, today we can destroy all American bases in the region and create hell for Zionists.
Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran is more powerful than ever. We trust in God; this was a confession two years ago when we seized the American Marines and the American inability to confront us. Tasnim News (translated)
The status quo remains in the region as Russia and Iran work hand-in-han to prop up the Syrian Regime of Bashar al-Assad and the United States and Israel work to contain and destroy the Islamic State and Shia militias that creep too close to American Advisers and the Israeli border. While the downing of a plane led to a greater-than-praportional response on Saturday, the coordinated response by the United States and Israel signal that it’s unlikely that any longer-term escalation is in the cards.