On Saturday, February 10th, Syrian forces shot down an Israeli F-16 which then crashed in Northern Israel.
This was the first time since 1982 that an Israeli fighter plane had been destroyed due to enemy action. The attack was in response to a breach in Israeli airspace. The perpetrator? An Iranian drone launched from Syria, which was quickly shot down by an Israeli Apache Helicopter.
“It’s a copy of a similar system that fell in Iran,” Brigadier General Tomer Bar, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Air Force, said of the drone.
That “copy” has a story originating in 2009; a story involving a number of bizarre American missteps:
March 20, 2009 -
The U.S. remains at war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Newly-elected president, Barrack Obama, offers a “new beginning” on Iranian state TV. At the time, the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 ‘Sentinel’ is the premiere spy drone in the U.S. fleet. It’s been built and designed by the same team that developed the SR-71 spy-plane and F-22 fighter-jet. Needless to say, it is highly classified.
December 4, 2011 -
Iran announces they have successfully captured an American drone with its electronic warfare unit. They also claim to have landed it fully intact. The United States government initially denies these claims, but soon after, President Obama acknowledges the downed aircraft is indeed the Sentinel. He requests Iran kindly give it back.
In an interview broadcast on Venezuelan state TV, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gives no indication of complying with the American request.
December 13, 2011
Former Vice President Dick Cheney calls the downing of the drone "a significant intelligence loss." In the same month, Obama’s Justice Department shuts down a law enforcement campaign tracking a half-billion-dollar money-laundering scheme. Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terrorist organization based in Lebanon, is behind the criminal activity.
“They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced and it was done from the top down,” said David Asher, a Defense Department illicit finance analyst who helped establish and oversee Project Cassandra.
May 11, 2014
Iran displays a copy of the captured American drone for the world to see after reverse engineering most of the technology. Footage of an American aircraft carrier in the Gulf is also broadcast on Iranian State TV. U.S. aircraft and service-members are clearly seen operating on the ship.
January 12, 2016
Two U.S. patrol ships accidentally stray into Iranian waters. Iran claims to have again used their electronic warfare unit to confuse the guidance systems of the U.S. ships. Even worse, the Navy later releases a report saying some if not all of the 10 captured sailors gave away sensitive information before their release.
January 17, 2016
The day after the Iranian Nuclear Deal is implemented, four Americans are released from Iranian prison. In an unprecedented move, the State Department authorizes payment of $400 million, in cash, to the Tehran Airport. This is the first payment of what would be $1.7 billion to Iran, plus an eventual $100 billion in unfrozen oversees funds. The public is lead to believe the funds are part of a 35-year-old settlement, but the timing is quite suspect.
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