"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", Russia's foreign ministry declared, according to the Times of Israel. "We don't know yet if it's an SA-5 or SA-17, but it's a Syrian anti-aircraft missile", said an IDF spokesman.
Iran is heavily backing brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and is believed to also use its secretive forces to back terrorist and rebel groups elsewhere in the Middle East.
Despite militarily backing Assad's government for nearly three years, Russian Federation has allowed Israel freedom of movement in Syria's skies and a statement distributed by Netanyahu's office after their phone call on Saturday insisted that would continue.
In other words, Russian Federation has been able to thread the hard needle that allowed it to back Syria and indirectly aid Iran for two years plus without making an outright enemy of Israel.
According to reports on CNN, Iran had built a copy of the drone after reverse-engineering its technology in May 2014.
The Trump administration claimed Israel's attack on Syria was an act of self-defense.
Conricus says that in response Israel destroyed the Iranian site in central Syria that launched it.
Why did Israel bomb targets in Syria? An Israeli attack helicopter successfully destroyed the Iranian UAV. According to Reuters of February 10, quoting a former commander of Israel's air force, this was the first time an Israeli F-16 had been shot down since the 1980s. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said the USA intervention has no end date and the size of the US force will increase.
Israel carried out major air raids in neighbouring Syria on Saturday, including against what it described as Iranian targets in the country.
Shortly afterward, the Israeli air force retaliated by attacking a significant portion of Syrian air defenses-reportedly as high as 40 to 50 percent of them-as well as a few Iranian facilities in Syria, for the first time since the outset of the Israel-Lebanon war in 1982.
"The Iran-Israel War Flares Up: The fight is over a Qods Force presence on the Syria-Israeli border".
Besides launching air strikes, Israel has moved air defense batteries to the border with Syria. During the IAF operation, Syrian surface-to-air missiles downed an Israeli F-16I fighter jet. Russian Federation has invested heavily in expanding its reach into the Middle East, and thus countering America's influence in the region. Previously, Iranian proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas have used Iranian-provided resources to target Israel, but this escalation was a direct operation by the Iranian military against Israeli territory.
Iranian media close to the leadership in Tehran has focused on the shooting down of the Israeli warplane by Syrian air defences, with one paper declaring it "the end of secure skies for the Zionist regime in Syria".
He said the regime had conducted strikes after the downing of the F-16, which he said showed " that our modus operandi has not changed one bit".
They do tolerate Israel's airstrikes as well as Iranian activities in Syria, but they are trying to avoid taking sides.
For some time, Israelis have seethed over Iran's ever-deepening presence in Syria.
The military says the pilots abandoned the aircraft and were safe.
He continued to put Syria on warning that Israel will immediately annihilate any threat in the skies - as it has done before.