Israeli strikes on Syria kill two dozen foreign fighters

Posted May 14, 2018

The Jewish state says it has conducted dozens of operations in Syria to stop what it says are advanced arms deliveries to Iran-backed Hezbollah, another key foe of Israel.

Israel did what any nation would do - it defended itself.

Syria blamed Israel for the Tuesday strikes that hit near the capital. "They must understand that if it rains here, it will pour there".

One of the central concerns when Trump announced Washington was leaving the Iran deal was that it could lead to a new phase of conflict in the Middle East.

Unlike during the Obama administration, when the USA regularly criticized Israel for exercising its right of self-defense, the White House issued a statement Thursday that took the opposite position.

Israel intercepted some of the Iranian missiles with the aid of the Iron Dome air defense systems, while others fell short of striking the targets.

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The sortie came after Iran fired 20 missiles toward Israel just after midnight on Thursday morning, the IDF said, forcing residents of the north into bomb shelters. More recently, after Israel's 2008 assassination of Hezbollah mastermind Imad Mughniyah, a Hezbollah bombing killed seven Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. The global community's silence encourages Israel's aggression.

"Almost every single entity [in Syria], whether it's a Sunni militia or the Assad regime, or Hezbollah, or Iran, they're all collectively, and individually, speaking anti-Israel", said Alvi. "There is, indeed, enough evidence of the Israeli support to these terrorist groups... and this incident clearly demonstrates their destructive policy in assisting those groups for the goal destabilizing the region", wrote Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshroo, in a letter addressed to Antonio Guterres, and revealed in parts by Sputnik.

"The Iranian regime's deployment into Syria of offensive rocket and missile systems aimed at Israel is an unacceptable and highly risky development for the entire Middle East", the White House said in a statement. Putin wants Iran to remain in Syria as a junior partner in propping up the Assad regime but not acting provocatively otherwise. But it will pay a steep price.

Iran appeared determined not to be drawn into a wider regional conflict with Israel during the sensitive negotiations. Perhaps he prefers to keep Netanyahu in doubt about how Moscow will respond if Israel presses its attacks on Iranian targets.

Iran must tread a delicate line as it seeks to show resolve against Trump and the Israeli strikes without alienating the European partners it needs to salvage something from the nuclear deal.

If anything, the lack of restrictions on the US now should serve as a reminder to Iran that it's a bad time to cause trouble.

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Russian Federation has never announced such deliveries and only specified that it reserves the right in the wake of US-led airstrikes against Syria to do everything possible in this situation.

"We condemn any attempt to harm Israel's security", Le Drian said in an interview in Friday's edition of newspaper Le Parisien.

It does seem that Israel might be seeking this opportunity to subvert the upper hand recently gained by Iranian and Syrian forces against rebel strongholds around Damascus. "They are trying to transfer forces and deadly weapons there with the explicit goal of attacking the state of Israel as part of their strategy to destroy the state of Israel".

The Israelis have had plenty of issues with the Palestinians, largely orchestrated by another Iranian-funded terrorist group, Hamas. It also comes ahead of a series of patriotic holidays in Israel, coinciding with the controversial moving of the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Thus, Netanyahu both called for and welcomed Trump's announcement that the withdrawing from the JCPOA.

"It is time for responsible nations to bring pressure on Iran to change this risky behavior", said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

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