Israel and Iran trade fire in most direct confrontation yet

11 May, 2018, 04:31 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Israel strikes 'dozens' of Iranian targets in Syria

In a statement Wednesday, the Israeli Defense Force claimed Iran shot at least 20 rockets in the Golan Heights region.

Israel blamed the initial missile strike on the Quds Force, which is a special forces unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

There was an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) air strike on an underground missile depot where the explosion was so large it registered on earthquake-monitoring systems.

Earlier this week, Syrian state media said Israel struck a military outpost near Damascus.

Israeli Merkava tanks are deployed near the Israeli-Syrian border on Thursday in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights.

The White House has condemned Iran's attacks on Israeli citizens as "unacceptable and highly dangerous". Israel says its occasional strikes in Syria aim to prevent such an outcome. Iran blames Israel for those strikes, while Israel has not confirmed or denied the attacks.

Iran's strong support for the government of President Bashar al-Assad - along with Russian air power - ensured his survival and now Tehran is seeking to cash in on the strategic benefits.

The Times of Israel reported there was damage to Israeli military bases.

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It is possible the UNDOF is evacuating due to the current tensions between Iran and its proxies, and Israel.

Syria's Foreign Ministry said Thursday that the Israeli attacks will only increase tension in the region and pose a "serious" threat to regional and global peace, according to the state news agency SANA. "I want to hope that we will be able not only to discuss with you, but also to look for solutions that would soften the situation", said Putin.

Abdurrahman, who is linked with a network of activists inside Syria, added that 40-45 percent of incoming Israeli missiles were destroyed by the Assad regime and their allies' air defenses.

Iran and Israel were already drawing deeper into confrontation before Trump pulled the United States out of the deal, but his move has shaken up the region. It is not known if any of the foreign nationals killed were Iranian.

Israel has carried out over 100 airstrikes in neighboring Syria since the civil war erupted in 2011, most believed to be aimed at suspected Iranian weapons shipments bound for the Hezbollah militant group. The moment Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran agreement, Israel went on high-alert expecting an attack made by Iranian forces.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson condemned Iran's attacks, urged Iran to refrain from further actions that could destabilize the region, and called on Russian Federation to pressure Syria to work toward a broader political settlement.

These could include terrorist attacks on Israeli interests, cyberattacks against Arab and American targets and the use of Shia militia to pressure American forces in Iraq and Syria - all of which have been seen in the past several years. "They are determined to do it and we are determined to prevent it".

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