Damascus (GPA– The war on  Syria has entered a new phase today after Syrian forces downed an Israeli jet conducting illegal airstrikes.

After today’s downing of an F-16 flying deep in Syrian airspace, Tel Aviv has responded with a with a wave of further bombings inside Syria. This whole situation has unfolded in a matter of hours and details are still coming in, but from what we know so far, things began when Israel allegedly took down an Iranian drone in their airspace.

Downed Israeli jet in Syria
Image: Syrian Arab News Agency

The alleged Iranian drone, which was supposedly launched from Syrian airspace into Israel was shot down early during the day Saturday. Israel has released video they claim shows the incident above their skies, which Iran has called “ridiculous.”

According to Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi “Claims about the flight of an Iranian drone … are too ridiculous to be addressed” due to the fact that Iran is only playing an “advisory role” in Syria. This explanation didn’t matter to Tel Aviv, of course, which resulted in Israel “retaliating” against Iran by striking at least 12 targets in Syria.

Yet things didn’t go as planned for Israel today. No, today Damascus let the Zionists know that they have had enough. Syria has put up with Israeli-backed rebels in the Golan Heights, previous limited Israeli airstrikes on Syrian soil, and Israeli weapons found in the hands of takfiri militants across the country.

Related: New Report Offers Proof of Israeli Support for ‘Syrian Rebels’

While Israel may have carried out 12 airstrikes on Syria today, one of their jets didn’t come back, although the pilots did manage to land in Israeli territory. Since Syria isn’t like Israel, Damascus wouldn’t do something like send fighters into another country and bomb its military.

This latest escalation by Israel (and the recent bombing of pro-Syrian fighters by the US) signals that the western powers and their mercenary-state allies in the Middle East know that their dirty war has failed in Syria. With Daesh defeated, the recent Syrian operations in Idlib deemed a success and the latest rounds of Russian-led diplomatic efforts (that include only one NATO member: Turkey) it is obvious that the imperial powers were either going to have to settle for stability in Syria or make a massive change to the very nature of the war on Syria.

Israel clearly tried to do just that today, and yet, Damascus clearly demonstrated that they know the dirty war is over and they are also prepared to resist the open colonial war, should the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and all the others choose to directly confront the Syrian Arab Army.

Syria’s allies are also pledging to stand by the nation as the war enters this new phase.

Related: Netanyahu to Shoigu: Israel ‘Won’t Tolerate’ Iranians in Syria

The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement earlier today vowing to stand by Damascus, saying that Moscow considers “it necessary to unconditionally respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other countries of the region.” Russia also reminded any nation looking to bomb Syria that “it is absolutely unacceptable to threaten the lives and security of Russian soldiers existed in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate government to help combat terrorists,” which should make any reasonable country think twice before hitting Syrian Arab Army positions.

The Iranian ambassador to Syria, Javad Turk-Abadi also said his nation would stand with Damascus until a final definitive victory is achieved.

Hezbollah also released a statement praising “the vigilance of the Syrian army and its valiant response to shoot down the hostile Israeli aircraft” and also stating that “Today’s developments mean the old equations have categorically ended” and the war has entered a new phase. Like Iran and Russia, Hezbollah also pledged to continue to stand with Syria until their sovereignty and security were ensured.

Related: US Encircles Iran with 45 Bases, But Concerned With Iran in Syria

Othe countries across the region not involved in the Syrian war also praised the actions of the Syrian army in standing against this era of revitalized Zionism. One such example is the statement given by Yemen’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein al-Aza to the Syrian Arab News Agency, which relayed the message that the “Yemeni Republic, represented by Foreign Ministry, condemns the Israeli occupation entity’s aggression against Syria and praises the alertness of the Syrian Arab Army and the shooting down of a hostile aircraft which participated in the aggression.”

The fact that Israel has turned from a semi-covert to an overt war on Syria hasn’t evaded anyone. One good thing that has come today is that there is on less Israeli jet in the skies over Syria, yet it is likely Israel will retaliate. The war for Syria isn’t over, it is just changing its shape. The resistance axis is prepared to remain vigilant in the task of defending the safety of Syria and the world must stand behind them.