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IAF Attacks Iranian Targets in Syria Release date 10.02.2018
IAF activity in the north: This morning, an IAF Apache helicopter intercepted an Iranian UAV that infiltrated Israel. In response, the IDF attacked targets in Syrian territory | Anti-aircraft missiles were fired at IAF aircraft, the pilots abandoned the aircraft as per procedure, landed in Israeli territory, and were taken to the hospital for medical treatment | The IDF conducted a large-scale attack against Iranian targets in Syria
IAF Site

IAF activity in the north: Today (Saturday), an IAF attack helicopter successfully intercepted an Iranian UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) that infiltrated Israel. The aircraft was identified by Aerial Defense Systems at an early stage and was under surveillance until the interception.

In response, the IDF attacked the Iranian aircraft's launch components in Syrian territory using “Sufa” (F-16I) aircraft, and the target was destroyed. During the attack, multiple anti-aircraft missiles were fired at IAF aircraft, and one was hit. The aircrew members abandoned as per procedure, landed in Israeli territory and were taken to Rambam Medical Center for medical treatment. One was severely injured, the other lightly injured.

 

The IDF, by IAF aircraft, performed a large-scale attack against the Syrian Aerial Defense System and Iranian targets in Syria. Twelve targets were attacked, including three Syrian aerial defense batteries and four Iranian targets that are part of Iran's military establishment in Syria During the attack, anti-aircraft missiles were fired towards Israel, triggering alarms that were heard in Northern Israel.

"The pilots didn't use their radios but we quickly understood what happened. As a result, the rescue force arrived quickly and the aircrew members' status is considerably well. We don't think it was a planned ambush. We know the Syrian weapon systems very well, so we weren't surprised", said Brig. Gen. Amnon Ein-Dar, Head of Training & Doctrine Division today (Sunday).


The wreckage of the Iranian UAV that was intercepted by an IAF helicopter | Photography: IDF Spokesperson

Protecting Israel's Skies
Lt. Col. L', Commander of the 113th Squadron who intercepted the Iranian UAV, said: "The squadron was scrambled in order to protect Israel's skies. We realized that it was an Iranian UAV, and when it crossed the border we intercepted it in Israel's territory. The squadron is ready, willing and able for any task".


Lt. Col. L., Commander of the 113th Squadron who intercepted the Iranian UAV | Photography: IDF Spokesperson

“The largest attack in Syria since 1982”
“Around 4AM, the IAF’s Aerial Defense and Surveillance Divisions detected an Iranian UAV in Israeli territory”, said Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar, IAF Chief of Air Staff. “We traced it, waited for it to cross the border, and intercepted it a minute and a half later. It was important for us to intercept the UAV in Israeli territory without endangering Israeli citizens. For the first time, we have in our hands an Iranian UAV flown by Iranian operators that infiltrated Israel’s territory. This is a challenging aircraft, intercepted at night in cloudy skies and while moving. After its interception, the IAF attacked the UAV’s control station in the T-4 Airbase in Syria”.


"It was important for us to intercept the UAV in Israeli territory without endangering Israeli citizens" | Footage of the Iranian UAV's interception

“During the attack, dozens of surface-to-air-missiles were fired at the operating aircraft”, said Brig. Gen. Bar. “One of the aircraft was apparently hit by a surface-to-air-missile during the mission. As soon as the aircrew members ejected from the aircraft, they were traced from the air, we knew their status and a rescue force arrived at their position immediately. After dozens of missiles were fired at the aircraft, we began the largest attack on the Syrian Aerial Defense System since the First Lebanon War in 1982”.

“We’ve acted against the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah and Iran’s military establishment in Syria for a while. We attacked two SA-5 long-range missile batteries, an SA-17 advanced surface-to-air-missile battery, an SA-2 battery control station and other Iranian targets”, added Brig. Gen. Bar. “The IAF is prepared for every scenario in order to maintain its air supremacy and freedom of action. The IAF’s air supremacy was not and will not be damaged. This was a complete operational success, in the face of the challenges we dealt with – intercepting the UAV, attacking the control station and facing the Syrian and Iranian missile threats”.


Archive Photo

Today’s interception of the Iranian UAV is one of many enemy UAV interceptions over the past few years. In February, 2017, a Hamas UAV was intercepted by an IAF F-16 jet. In April, 2017, Aerial Defense Division operators intercepted a Syrian UAV with the “Yahalom” (Patriot) system. In September, 2017, the Patriot aerial defense combatants intercepted a Hezbollah UAV, and two months later, they intercepted a Syrian UAV as well. 

The IDF will act determinately against such severe violations of Israeli sovereignty by Iran and Syria. The IDF is prepared for various scenarios, and will continue to act according to situation assessments.