Iran's involvement in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad in a almost seven-year-old civil war - including the deployment of Iran-backed forces near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights - has alarmed Israel, which has said it would counter any threat.
A pro-Syrian military alliance said later in the day that the Israeli claim about a drone intrusion was bogus, noting that Israel had targeted a drone base in Syria whose unmanned aircraft were used against the Daesh terrorist group.
"This is not the first time that we have warned you of Iran's risky actions that undermine the situation in our region".
A spokesman for Iran's Supreme National Security Council said Syria's response was "a clear warning to Israel". And the Russian Foreign Ministry's statement on Saturday's escalation did not condemn Israel. Some Israeli observers have said it is hard to imagine that the Russians there would not have known about the Iranian drone or the subsequent antiaircraft fire. "The Ministry calls on the countries concerned to curb the Israeli practices and stop its attacks".
Israel has conducted dozens of strikes inside Syrian borders to defend what it calls its red lines, and to prevent what it says is Iran's proxy Hezbollah - fighting alongside the Syrian regime - from acquiring advanced weaponry.
The Israeli military said it hit eight Syrian targets, including three aerial defense batteries, and four Iranian positions that it described as "part of Iran's military entrenchment in Syria."... The Israeli military confirmed that one F-16 had gone down in northern Israel, and that its two pilots had ejected and had been located and transferred to hospital.
According to the Israeli military, the confrontation began with the drone entering its airspace before being intercepted by a combat helicopter.
A source within the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, of which the RFMF is a member, said: "The Arabs say it's their territory but the Israelis say it's theirs".
He did not say whether the drone was armed or for reconnaissance, but alleged it "was on a military mission sent by Iranian military forces" from an "Iranian base" in the Palmyra area.
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Syrian television said its country's defense systems hit more than than one Israeli aircraft.
Israel said one of its F-16s crashed after it came under fire from Syria.
"We will not allow that regime to entrench itself militarily in Syria, as it seeks to do, for the express goal of eradicating our state", Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said during a visit to Washington in December. Qasemi went on to say, "Iran only provides military advice to Syria based on the request of the country's legitimate government".
Russian Federation provides significant military backing to the Syrian government.
"Israel holds Iran and its Syrian hosts responsible for today's aggression".
The statement vowed a "relentless response" to "all further aggression". Israel responded with a "large scale attack" on 12 bases in Syria.
Iran's military chief warned Israel last October against breaching Syrian airspace and territory.
The current violence is the first direct engagement between Iran and Israel, said Sami Nader, head of the Beirut-based Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs.
Israel remain technically at war with Syria and occupies a swath of the strategic Golan Heights that it seized in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed in a move never recognised by the global community.