The outcome of the latest "Israeli" attack on Syrian military outposts near Damascus is not exactly what the leadership in Tel Aviv was hoping for when it decided to carry out what was, by most accounts, a sophisticated operation.
During the January 9 attack, the "Israeli" Air Force deployed four state-of-the-art F-35 stealth multirole fighter jets, which fired a total of five missiles at weapons storage facilities and anti-aircraft batteries in Syria's Qutayfeh.
The jets fired the missiles from relatively safe distances in the hope of avoiding Syrian anti-aircraft weapons, including the Pantsir-S1 and the S-200.
Although the F-35s are limited by their high fuel consumption, the "Israeli" pilots compensated by utilizing all available electronic combat systems against both the S-400 radar division stationed at Russia's Khmeimim Air Base and Syrian air defenses.
The "Israelis" had reportedly managed to temporarily ‘blind' the Syrians by using a number of radar stations, including the JY-27 "Wide Mat".
But despite this barrage of electronic signals, the Syrian S-200 still managed to locate the supposedly undetectable Adir (the "Israeli" name for the F-35), and fire at the aircraft.
"Israeli" computer simulations and other maneuvers were reportedly unsuccessful in rescuing one of the fighter jets.
Meanwhile, the Pantsir-S1 destroyed three of the missiles fired by the "Israelis". Some reports have suggested that the S-400 was also involved in the action.
It is difficult to say how prepared the "Israelis" were for such an outcome. After all, this was always going to be a risky operation, and not just because "Israel's" fifth generation stealth aircraft is now vulnerable.
According to some media reports, a growing number of Russian military personnel stationed in Syria are being killed by the "Israeli" strikes. And Russia's President Vladimir Putin is now said to be contemplating measures designed to dissuade Tel Aviv from attacking Syria.
In recent weeks, the Syrian military has exhibited a high degree of efficiency in fighting back militant groups across the country's southern regions - not far from the "Israeli" occupied Golan Heights.
Efforts to break the siege on Eastern Ghouta by groups like Tahrir al-Sham have been foiled following the deployment of three Syrian army divisions in the area, including tanks and heavy armor. The Syrian army has also deployed mobile observation teams, which enabled the successful use of the Sukhoi Su-24 fighter planes - recently supplied by the Russians.
Similar successes were recorded in the southwestern province of Quneitra against Jabhat al-Nusra.
Further north, Nusra came under attack from the Syrian military and its allies, as they edged toward the highly strategic Abu al-Duhur air base in Idlib.
The combination of these successes prompted the "Israelis" to ignore the growing risk involved and launch their attacks on Syrian military installations.
The degree of "Israeli" support for groups like Jabhat al-Nusra has reportedly become so extensive in southern parts of Syria, that "Israel's" intelligence assets and special operation units get directly involved in battles to get the militants out of tight situations.
Such operations are frequently accompanied by the "Israeli" shelling of Syrian army and Hezbollah positions.
In the occupied Golan, the "Israelis" have already deployed at least one armored division made up predominately of the Merkava Mk3 tanks, but also consisting of self-propelled anti-tank vehicles and artillery units.
Meanwhile, in the skies over southern Syria, "Israeli" military intelligence is reportedly studying the routes of Syrian aircraft.
"Israel's" continuing reliance on terrorist groups and its military maneuvers has led some experts to conclude that Tel Aviv is looking for the right opportunity to launch a ‘lighting' ground offensive in southern Syria.
And although the latest airstrikes highlight Syria's improving air-defense capabilities, the attacks also suggest that "Israel" has not entirely parted ways with the idea of toppling the Damascus government.
Moreover, "Israel" is exhibiting a willingness to take on increasingly risky operations, in a desperate bid to achieve its immediate strategic objective - the removal of the Iranian military contingent from Syria, especially along the country's southern frontier.
Policies adopted by the Trump White House - the scrapping of the Iran nuclear deal, the recognition of Jerusalem (Al-Quds) as the "Israeli" ‘capital', the rejection of the two-state solution and the withholding of funds for Palestinian refugees - are certainly reassuring for Tel Aviv.
But how much help can the "Israelis" expect on the battlefield? The answer: probably none.
If the "Israelis" were to launch a direct military incursion into parts Syria, they would be confronted by the full weight of the Resistance Axis and their Russian partners.
And if the "Israelis" have trouble ruling the skies - Tel Aviv's last remaining frontier of dominance - attempts to score successes on the ground may prove utterly disastrous.