Saturday’s downing of an Israeli F-16 fighter jet in northern Israel by Syrian forces has led to the two sides exchanging claims and counterclaims. Following is a synopsis of an interview Press TV has conducted with Richard Becker, with the ANSWER Coalition, and William Morris, the secretary general of Next Century Foundation, about the incident.
William Morris described the incident as a great achievement for the Syrian government, stressing that it would definitely affect Israel’s approach towards Damascus.
The incident happened while at least two Israeli jets – some reports suggest as many as eight aircraft — were returning home from a bombing raid on an army base in central Syria. Israel claimed that the fighter jets had attacked positions inside the Syrian territory after its army intercepted a drone launched from Syria.
“It is distressing from the point of view of Israel and the point is that Israel has overreacted,” Morris noted.
Even assuming there has been a drone — despite the fact that Syria has rejected the claim – responding to the incident with eight F-16 fighter jets is definitely an overreaction, he continued.
“This kind of provocation is not good. We want to see a calming down of the situation because the world has many problems. We don’t need additional tensions and additional violence between Syria and Israel,” the analyst underlined.
Meanwhile, Richard Becker, the other panelist on the show, opined that the United States and Israel are overtly trying to keep the flames of the Syrian war burning following the defeat of terrorist groups in the country.
“They really don’t want the calming down of the situation. What they are really working toward, and so is the United States and Saudi Arabia, is to continue the war inside Syria and to continue to divide Syria,” Becker said.
He expressed amazement at the idea of Israel talking about sovereignty, while it is constantly violating the airspace of Lebanon and Syria.
“The idea that one drone allegedly touched Israel’s airspace and that resulted in the deployment of at least eight fighter bombers to attack Syria shows the kind of extreme double standards that exists in the US that Israel can claim that its airspace is pristine and must never be violated and then on a regular basis violates the airspace and sovereignty of other countries,” Becker concluded.
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:27AM