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Charles Lister @Charles_Lister
, 7 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
BIG NEWS overnight

- #Israel struck x12 military targets across #Syria (4+ directly controlled by #Iran).

- #Syria dispatched drone to #Golan (from T4 AB); downed by #Israel.

- In subsequent “ambush,” one Israeli F-16 was shot down by Syrian air defenses; landed in Galilee.
#pt: After that wave of escalator incidents, #Israel has launched a second mass wave of airstrikes in #Damascus - 6+ allegedly located near #Assad’s presidential palace.

*All* #Syria Army & pro-regime facilities have reportedly been placed on red alert.
#pts: It’s no secret that #Israel has been increasingly exasperated at #Iran’s growing capabilities & infrastructure in #Syria - escalation in strikes makes sense.

BUT an F-16 shoot-down raises big questions. Some reports say S-125 was responsible (missile wreckage in picture).
#pts: For a worthless drone to have been dispatched from T4 AB to the #Golan suggests an intentional pro-regime attempt to draw #Israel into a planned ambush - perhaps in which a single jet was targeted by overwhelming wave of SAMs.

However it happened - this changes everything.
Imagery emerging from #Lebanon (Mt. Hermon) & #Jordan (Irbid) indicates #Syria/#Iran fired a combination of S-200 (SA-5) & 2K12 ‘Kub’ (SA-6) SAMs to overwhelm & down #Israel’s F-16.

#Assad state media says x24 SAMs were launched at once.
I testified to @HouseForeign this week & made clear that (1) #Iran feels more emboldened than ever in #Syria & (2) escalation w. #Israel was inevitable.

I also said the U.S. should more assertively back its Israeli ally in deterring Iranian aggression — today illustrates need.
#pt: I also told @HouseForeign that (1) #Iran would seek to test our defenses in east #Syria (which has also happened since) & that (2) we should aggressively, but defensively respond.

To have the needed deterrent effect, responding can’t be one-off - it must continue as needed.
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