Haley defends Israel's downing of Iranian drone at UN

Haley defends Israel's downing of Iranian drone at UN

One of the most confounding - and risky - aspects of the six-year-conflict in Syria is that its roster of combatants continues to broaden. Iran has backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad via elite forces and support for Shiite Muslim pro-government militias battling insurgents and jihadis. Islamic State has been routed from most of its territory but still holds pockets of the Euphrates River valley.

Reacting to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said on Wednesday that Iran needed to withdraw its military forces from Syria, Ali Akbar Velayati, a top aide to Iran's Supreme Leader, stated: "Iran's military presence in Syria was based on invitation of the Syrian government".

Now another subplot is emerging, involving one of America's strongest allies: Israel.

The Israeli military responded to the drone entering Israeli territory by raiding Palmyra, the drone's launch location, to retrieve the stealth aerial vehicle. Syria fired back, downing one Israeli F-16 with anti-aircraft weapons.

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Over the past years, Israel, which is viewed as a supporter of anti-Damascus militants, has frequently attacked targets in Syria, often claiming that it hit positions or convoys belonging to Iran. There's much more to this than a violation of airspace.

A senior Israeli official told Channel 10 that the ambassadors were asked to pass along the warnings in light of Jeruslem's "sense" that the worldwide community has not been taking Israel's willingness to act against Iran's entrenchment in Syria seriously. Israel however destroyed almost half of President Bashar Assad's air defenses, according to military estimates.

Qassemi was reacting to recent comments by the German government's spokesperson, Steffen Seibert, who voiced "concerns" about Iran's "military engagement" in the region and claimed such a role "is leading to a risky escalation" in the conflict gripping Syria. The only player in Syria with any kind of leverage over Iran is the Kremlin.

The warnings came in light of Israel's "sense" that the global community is not taking Iran's entrenchment in Syria seriously.

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