Iran's Tansim news agency said seven Iranian military personnel had been killed in the attack, which contributed to a sharp escalation of tensions between the West and Russian Federation. Israel per longstanding policy, has not publicly claimed responsibility. "In the past, in order to get to an installation like the T-4 field, we would have had to fly hundreds of kilometers, refueling in the air and dodging the formidable Iranian missile defense system", the officials told Hadashot News.
Though it is generally thought that the drone was carrying out a reconnaissance mission, the official Israeli Army spokesman told Friedman on Friday that the drone's flight path and Israel's "intelligence and operational analysis of the parts of the Iranian unmanned vehicle" indicated that "the aircraft was carrying explosives" and that its mission was "an act of sabotage in Israeli territory".
"EXPOSED " Roni Daniel, military editor for Israeli TV station Mako, said the disclosure was a signal to Iran that its deployments in Syria "are totally exposed to us, and if you take action against us to avenge (the T-4 strike) these targets will be very severely harmed".
Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned that the "crime" committed "will not remain without response".
Security officials believe that the national events this week - Memorial Day and Independence Day - would pose too great a temptation for Iran to attempt to attack Israel for Tehran to resist. We're economically successful as we've never been before.
Despite Netanyahu's resolute rhetoric, Israel's military has been placed on high alert along the fraught northern border fearing an Iranian reprisal.
Two Israeli F-35 "Adir" jets fly in formation after receiving fuel from a Tennessee Air National Guard KC-135 on December, 6, 2016.
According to Daniel, Israel was bracing for a possible Iranian missile salvo or armed drone assault from Syria.
The Israeli military attempted to distance itself from the comments and "disputed the characterization and accuracy of the raid" by the Israeli source, Friedman said.