Israel attacks Iranian forces in Syria as regional conflict escalates

Posted May 10, 2018

While tensions over Iran grow, there was a further catalyst overnight as Iranian forces in Syria traded missile fire with the Israeli army.

Israel declined to comment.

It does acknowledge carrying out dozens of raids in Syria to stop what it says are advanced arms deliveries to Iran-backed Hezbollah, another key foe of Israel.

At present, authorities have not changed the alert instructions for residents of the Golan Heights, a portion of Syria that Israel occupied during the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed in a decision not recognised by the global community.

Anticipations of the regional flare-up had been stoked by U.S. President donald-trump's statement on Tuesday he had been withdrawing by your Iranian atomic deal.

Sana reported that two missiles were shot down in the Kiswah area and that two civilians were killed in an explosion.

No Iranian rocket hit Israel, Lieberman said.

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Since intervening in the Syrian civil war on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad in 2015, Russian Federation has generally turned a blind eye to Israeli attacks on suspected arms transfers and deployments by Assad's Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah allies.

Russian Federation is reported to have been informed in advance of the Israeli attack.

In his speech announcing the USA withdrawal from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, Trump called Iran the "world's leading state sponsor of terror", citing its support for "terrorist" proxies and militias such as Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as its activities in Yemen. Israel says its occasional strikes in Syria aim to foil that.

Last year, a Western intelligence source told the BBC that the Iranian military had established a compound near Kiswah. Further waves of missiles followed.

Iran also holds enormous political sway in neighboring Iraq and in Lebanon, where its main Shiite ally, the militant Hezbollah group, scored significant gains in weekend elections.

Iran has increasingly strengthened its military presence in Syria, something which Israel considers a direct threat.

SANA has published a video in which, allegedly, the Syrian air defense reflect Israeli missiles. Iran blamed it for an 9 April air strike that killed seven of its military personnel in Syria, and vowed revenge.

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An Israeli army spokesman, Avichay Adraee, said on Twitter that Israel was "acting against Iranian targets inside Syria", a rare admission by an Israeli official.

This is the most serious escalation in long-simmering tensions between Iran and Israel since Syria's civil war started in 2011.

Israeli outlets also reported that the military was calling up a number of reservists.

Mr Netanyahu has been instrumental in urging Mr Trump to end his support for the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Going against advice from European allies, he said he would reimpose economic sanctions that were lifted when the deal was signed in 2015.

"Israel has been involved in the targeting of Iranian surrogates and/or weapon supply routes from Iran for some time".

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