On February 9, Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway officially announced that the US supports the Israeli attack that targeted twelve positions of the Syrian Air Defense Forces and the Iranian forces in Syria. The Pentagon spokesman told reporters that the US fully supports “Israel’s right to defend itself”, according to Reuters.
“Israel is our closest security partner in the region and we fully support Israel’s inherent right to defend itself against threats to its territory and its people,” Maj. Rankine-Galloway said, according to Reuters.
Maj Rankine-Galloway also noted that the US Department of Defense did not participate in the Israeli military operation in Syria and warned from Iran’s “destabilizing activities” in the Middle East.
“We share the concerns of many throughout the region that Iran’s destabilizing activities that threaten international peace and security, and we seek greater international resolve in countering Iran’s malign activities,” said Rankine-Galloway.
Earlier, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert also stressed the US support for the attack on Syria that resulted in the shot down of an Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-16 warplane, and the damaging of another warplane, an F-15.
“The United States is deeply concerned about today’s escalation of violence over Israel’s border and strongly supports Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself,” Nauert said, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, the Damascus ally, Lebanese Hezbollah, said in an official statement that the shootdown of the Israeli warplane by the Syrian Air Defense Forces was the “start of a new strategic phase” that will put a limit to the Israeli interventions into Syrian airspace.
“We condemn the enemy’s [Israel’s] blatant support of terrorism and radical groups and its interference in the Syrian crisis by aggression and threats, we confirm that today’s developments mean the old equations have categorically ended,” Hezbollah said in its official statement.
From its side, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed its concern over the Israeli airstrikes on Syria in an official statement and called on all sides to avoid the escalation of the situation. In its statement, the ministry also warned Israel of threatening the lives of Russian servicemen in Syria.
“We urge all parties involved to exercise restraint and to avoid any actions that could lead to an even greater complication of the situation. We consider it necessary to unconditionally respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other countries of the region. It is absolutely unacceptable to create threats to the lives and security of Russian servicemen who are in Syria at the invitation of its legitimate government to assist in the fight against terrorists,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said, according to the Washington Post.
While the situation on the Syrian-Israeli border is once again under control, local sources believe that this calm could end at any moment as both sides are now ready, more than ever, for another armed confrontation.