"We're not doing this because we're aggressive, but because we constantly have to be actively defending the state of Israel," the senior officer said, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity on Wednesday.
"This is the only thing preventing offensive measures by Iran," he added.
The officer also warned Syria not to use its air defenses against Israeli warplanes. "All batteries that fire on Israeli aircraft will be destroyed. All batteries that do not fire on us will not be destroyed," he said, noting that "this policy will continue."
Syrian-Israeli relations were brought to a boiling point earlier this month after the Israeli Air Force hit what it said were Iranian targets in Syria, following an alleged rocket attack against Israeli military positions in the occupied Golan Heights. Earlier this year, Israeli jets repeatedly struck Syria's T-4 air base, which Tel Aviv claimed contained "Iranian bases in Syria."
On Wednesday, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad told Sputnik that the possibility of withdrawing Iranian military advisers and Hezbollah militia was "not even on the agenda of discussion, since it concerns the sovereignty of Syria."
The Israeli Air Force has regularly violated Syrian airspace throughout the course of the Syrian civil war. Damascus has called these incursions acts of aggression and vowed to continue to "repel any aggression against Syria, regardless where it will take place."