Israel says Iran and Syria ‘playing with fire,’ warns Hezbollah must withdraw

Israeli security forces examine the remains of an F-16 Israeli war plane near the village of Harduf.

:: Israel’s military said Saturday Iran and Syria were “playing with fire” but that it was not seeking an escalation after a confrontation resulted in large-scale Israeli air strikes in Syria.

Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus made the comments after Saturday’s confrontation, the most serious between arch foes Israel and Iran since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador to Moscow said on Saturday Iranian-backed Hezbollah units and Shiite Muslim rebels should be immediately withdrawn from Syria’s southern de-escalation zone, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported.

“We prefer to talk about the implementation of different agreements on the zones of de-escalation, in our case, in the south on the border with Israel,” Interfax quoted Ambassador Harry Koren as saying.

“Specifically, any presence of Iranian units, Hezbollah and Shi’ite rebels should immediately be curtailed.”

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