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Israel Shoots Down Syrian Fighter Jet over Golan

09-23-2014
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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Early Tuesday morning, Israel shot down a Syrian jet fighter that crossed into Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights. The incident took place not far from where jihadi forces are battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"The situation around us is volatile. We'll not tolerate a situation where our air space is violated by Syrian enemy air force," IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told CBN News.

Israel said it's still reviewing the incident, but despite growing threats in the region, its border is secure.

"Clearly there are concerns that we have with radical Islamists, jihadist organizations on our borders," Lerner continued. "They do not bring a good omen to the area and therefore we have to be concerned of this development."

Meanwhile, Middle East expert Jonathan Fine with the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya says the U.S. bombing campaign is a good start, but it won't be enough to defeat the Islamic State.

"I don't want to delude any of the folks back home thinking that only aerial bombardment is going to solve the problem," Fine told CBN News. "In the end of the day history shows that to us, with America in Vietnam, the Russians in Afghanistan, and Israel in Lebanon and Gaza. You cannot overcome [a] guerilla/terrorist organization only from the air. At the end of the day, you do need boots on the ground." 

Fine says the coalition of five Arab nations and the United States is a positive step, but primarily symbolic.

"Symbolically it's important, but let's not get carried away. I heard that Qatar is part of the coalition, [but] what exactly did the Qaterians do?" he challenged.

Fine said Qatar and Saudi Arabia spread the radical Sunni Islamic Brotherhood's propaganda campaign.

"And they definitely didn't participate in the bombing and if you go back, by the way, who is to blame in the first place for creating this monstrosity of radical Sunni Islamic brotherhood -- the Quaterians and also the Saudis at that time are the ones who financed all the propaganda ideology and all this ideology."

While Israelis feel the battle against the Islamic State is important, they don't want the world to forget the number one threat in the region: Iran.

"But [what] Israel is afraid of is -- as a result of all the attention paid to the IS -- everybody is going to forget about the real strategic threat that bothers Israelis is the Iranian nuclear program and the fear that Iran sooner or later is going to have a nuclear bomb," Fine said. 

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