Haley: Russia Needs to Use Leverage Over Syria to Create 'Real Peace'

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks at a conference of local governments in Tel Aviv

The conflict quickly sucked in other countries. Israeli Apache helicopters downed the drone, and four F-16 jets were dispatched into Syrian territory to bomb the site from which it was launched.

The incident was linked to defensive US airstrikes in Syria over the past week, Bolton believes. That has increased fears that American troops meant to fight Islamic State militants increasingly are being dragged into the war.

This month alone, USA aircraft killed as many as 200 Russian mercenaries as they attacked Kurdish forces in eastern Syria; Turkey threatened to expand its invasion of northern Syria to take on Kurds embedded with US advisers; and Israel shot down an Iranian drone that breached its airspace. Except none of the conditions that caused the civil war in the first place, or the rivalries that helped perpetuate it, had gone away.

The Israeli forces have repeatedly targeted Syrian military positions during Syria's almost seven-year-long conflict, with Israel claiming it was targeting positions of Iranian-backed militias, including the Lebanese Hezbollah.

He assured, in that sense, that Syria delivered its entire chemical arsenal to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. In Iraq, the Obama administration even provided air cover to the same groups that during the 2003 USA -led intervention murdered American troops.

Residents speak of a rapidly worsening humanitarian situation, adding that medical supplies are running low.

There are, however, a number of reasons the advanced platform was kept on its leash during the weekend's air campaign, primary among them being an expected software update the fighter is supposed to receive before being put into combat operations, though those familiar with the platform have stated that the jet would have managed Syrian air space well despite the outdated software. Turkey says it has lost 31 soldiers in the slow-moving offensive. Israel was telling Russian Federation that it would not stand handtied as Moscow ignored efforts by Syria and Hizbullah to expand their military might.

Civilians has been killed on a horrific scale and strikes have continued to hit hospitals, schools and markets. Iran is right behind them. There were also reports of the government using toxic agents in residential areas. The danger of Syria's nearly seven-year-old conflict escalating has been mounting in recent months, not least because of the number of foreign forces sucked into it. Russian Federation and America both have troops on the ground and planes in the air above Syria.

"The prime minister will tell the world if you want to avoid a huge war in Israel - stop Iran", said Yaakov Amidror, a retired general and former Israeli national security adviser.

The Syrians, whether feeling protective of their Iranian allies or just itching for an excuse to target the Israeli air force after it conducted thousands of reconnaissance missions and a few airstrikes in Syria during its seven-year civil war, launched a barrage of anti-aircraft fire at the Israeli planes.

More news: DNI Coats: Cyber rises to top of worldwide threat assessment

Neither the empty threats of retaliation from the Syrian government nor the downing of a single aircraft should change Israeli calculations in this regard. Its clear military superiority would make it the victor on most scorecards in a new war. "This has the potential to turn into a regional war", said Bilal Saab, an expert at the Washington-based Middle East Institute.

Islamic State's black flags no longer fly over Iraqi towns and villages.

This also shows how irrelevant Tillerson and USA foreign policy have become.

Some reports say the pro-regime force was composed of Russian mercenaries, but US officials have not confirmed the reports.

Different lessons can be drawn from this military clash, but the core issue is Iran's ongoing presence in Syria: It's goal is to assert itself there, and to call the shots, including vis-à-vis Israel.

The statement went on to stress as "undeniable" the role of the United States in reinforcing ISIL and spreading terrorism across the region, adding "the US' adventures and illegal interventions in various countries of the region, especially in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Afghanistan, have led to further instability in these countries and catastrophic consequences for the region". This was a large attack involving numerous tanks, artillery, and fighters.

Nor should it shift the calculations of the many actors, including Israel, intervening in Syria.

Asked by Marlow how he anticipates the U.N. will react to the incident, Danon said, "Unfortunately, the U.N. Security Council is not willing to condemn the presence of Iran in Syria".

But they are competing for control of Deir el-Zour with Russian-backed Syrian troops that are reinforced by Iranian-supported militias.

What this signals is that, though ISIS has been all but evicted from Syria, the USA intends to retain that fourth of Syria as a bargaining chip in negotiations.

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