Israel's army has launched what it calls a large-scale attack in Syria. That's after an Israeli jet attacking targets in Syria came under fire. It's the latest in cross-border attacks there. NPR's Middle East correspondent Ruth Sherlock joins us. Ruth, thanks for being with us.
RUTH SHERLOCK, BYLINE: Hello.
SIMON: And from what you can tell, what's happened?
SHERLOCK: Well, the Israeli army says that this all started when an Iranian-made drone crossed from Syria into Israeli territory. Israel shot down that drone, and then in retaliation sent eight fighter jets to bomb a Syrian military base — the T4 base near Palmyra — where they said the drone had been operated out of.
But the Israeli military then said that the Syrians responded with substantial anti-aircraft fire. In the middle of that, two Israeli pilots ejected from an F-16 jet, which then crashed in Israel. That prompted the Israelis to then launch a counterattack, which they called a large-scale attack, hitting 12 military sites. Eight of them are thought to be Syrian, the other four Iranian. So it says it hit air defense batteries and military possessions belonging to the Syrian regime, as well.
SIMON: The Israeli military has struck targets in Assad's areas before, but is this an escalation?
SHERLOCK: That's right. Israel has carried out airstrikes in Syria against targets — towards its enemy Iran. The difference here though is that the Israelis had not previously publicly acknowledged these strikes. They usually refuse to comment, whereas today they were briefing journalists. And an Israeli military spokesman also warned that Iran is playing with fire by infiltrating Israeli airspace.
This time, Syria has also signaled an aggressive response. I mean, responding with anti-aircraft batteries and they've warned that there could be a tough and serious response.
So both the Syrians and the Iranians deny that this drone had anything to do with an attack on Israel or that — they just said it was carrying out routine intelligence on ISIS targets in Syria.
SIMON: What can you foresee as the likely consequences of this today?
SHERLOCK: So the bigger picture here is that Israel has been alarmed about Iran's involvement in the Syrian war for a long time. Iran supports the Syrian regime — Bashar al-Assad — and Israel carried out airstrikes in Syria to try to contain Iranian influence. But the regime is getting stronger. It's winning territory back. And as it gains the upper hand there, Iranian influence is growing.
And Israel is also worried about the strengthening of Hezbollah. That's the Iranian proxy on its border in Lebanon that has been known to receive weapons funneled through Syria. So this is all unacceptable to Israel, and it also seems to be the first time in decades that an Israeli jet was downed under enemy fire. So this is a serious escalation. But people are calling for calm. Russia is seriously concerned about this. It's previously had troops on the base — one of the bases that was struck today, and it called it unacceptable.
Everybody knows that war would be incredibly costly here, but the — for all sides. You know, both Israel and Syria know it would be a very damaging war. And the Israelis signaled that they don't want to take this beyond what happened today. But the fact that it happened at all is a sign of the kind of growing tensions here about — that's born from the reality of the politics.
SIMON: NPR's Ruth Sherlock, thanks so much.
SHERLOCK: Thank you very much.
以色列军队在叙利亚境内发动了其所谓的“大规模袭击” 。因为此前以色列一架正在叙利亚进行攻击任务的战机被击中 。这是该地区发生的最新一波跨境攻击 。NPR新闻驻中东记者露丝·夏洛克将和我们连线 。露丝，谢谢你你和我们连线 。
夏洛克：以色列军方表示，这一切始于一架伊朗制造的无人机从叙利亚境内进入以色列领土 。以色列击落了那架无人机，随后出动8架战机轰炸巴米尔拉附近的一处叙利亚空军基地，以此进行报复，以方称那架无人机是从该基地起飞的 。
随后以色列军方表示，叙利亚用密集的防空火力进行了回击 。在此期间，两名以色列飞行员从一架F-16战机上跳伞，该战机后来在以色列境内坠毁 。这促使以色列发起反攻，他们称之为“大规模袭击”，对叙利亚境内12个军事目标进行了打击 。其中8个目标为叙利亚设施，另外4个为伊朗军事设施 。以色列称他们打击了属于叙利亚政府的防空排炮和军事财产 。
夏洛克：没错 。以色列曾对叙利亚境内的伊朗目标发动过空袭，伊朗是以色列的“敌人” 。但是区别在于，以色列此前从未公开承认过这类袭击 。他们通常会拒绝发表评论，但是今天他们通知了记者 。一名以色列军方发言人还警告称，伊朗潜入以色列领空是在玩火 。
这次，叙利亚也进行了激进的回击 。叙利亚用防空排炮进行了回击，并警告称可能会有强硬且严肃的回击 。
夏洛克：现在的大背景是，长时间以来以色列一直担心伊朗参与叙利亚战争 。伊朗支持叙利亚政权，即巴沙尔·阿萨德领导的政府力量，而以色列在叙利亚境内实施空袭的目的是遏制伊朗的影响力 。但是叙利亚政权却日益强大 。叙利亚政府收复了领土 。由于叙利亚政权占据了上风，伊朗的影响力也在日益增强 。
另外，以色列也对黎巴嫩真主党实力的增加感到担心 。黎巴嫩真主党是伊朗在黎巴嫩边境的代理人，众所周知，该组织获得的武器是通过叙利亚运送的 。所以，这对以色列来说完全不可接受，而且这似乎是数十年来以色列战机首次被敌军击落 。因此，局势不断升级 。不过外界在呼吁保持冷静 。俄罗斯对此表示严重关切 。之前俄罗斯在今天遭袭的其中一个军事基地有驻军，俄方称这不可接受 。
所有人都知道战争给涉及各方造成了严重的代价 。以色列和叙利亚都知道，这会是一场破坏性极大的战争 。以色列表示，他们不希望事态的发展超出今天的局面 。但是事实是，所发生的一切都是这一地区局势在日趋紧张的标志，而这种情况源于政治的现实性 。
1. come under fire 遭到射击；受到火力攻击；
例句：The Belgians fell back as the infantry came under fire.
2. shoot down 击落(飞机、直升机、导弹等)；
例句：Meanwhile, the US has been developing an alternative system to shoot down short and medium-range missiles.
3. in the middle of (某件事或某段时间的)中期；
例句：I had a little lapse of concentration in the middle of the race.
4. play with fire 玩火；冒险；做危险的事；
例句：They should learn a lesson from this accident that those who play with fire will surely get burnt.