Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Israelis and Iranians exchange fire

Damascus Syria blames Israel for missile strike near Damascus
Faye Gross | 14 May, 2018, 04:23

The two rivals have long fought each other through proxies, and with the new exchange each seemed to be sending a warning that a direct clash between them could swiftly escalate.

Analysts also raised questions about the media's blind acceptance of Israel's claim that it was Iranian forces that fired missiles at the occupied Golan Heights, pointing to claims by Syrian officials that it was their own army that fired the missiles in response to Israel's earlier attack.

About an hour before the alleged airstrike Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced he is withdrawing the United States from the Iran nuclear deal. Iran started the fighting, and if they don't like the results, they can solve the situation by "restraining" themselves from firing rockets into Israel. No one on the Israeli side was reported to have been injured.

Merkava Mark IV tanks are deployed next to cows near the Syrian border in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights on May 10, 2018.

The 2015 deal in any case permitted Iran to retain all the components of its nuclear weapons program - uranium enrichment, thousands of centrifuges, its Arak plutonium facility, and its Fordow underground nuclear facility - while shredding the global sanctions regime on Tehran and infusing its economy with hundreds of billions of dollars in unfrozen assets and sanctions relief.

A showdown had seemed inevitable between the two Middle East powers. Former Israeli deputy defense minister Ephraim Sneh told Business Insider that Israel targeted "the intelligence and the infrastructure" of Iran's forces in Syria, doing "heavy damage" which "will take time to fix". It also said it destroyed several Syrian air-defense systems after coming under heavy fire and that none of its warplanes were hit.

Tehran, for its part, has yet to officially react to the strikes.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which closely monitors the civil war through sources inside Syria, said 23 fighters, including five Syrian soldiers, were killed.

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There was no immediate word on Iranian casualties.

"Their presence will only cause problems and damage".

There is growing speculation that Iran's military adventure in Syria is interfering with Russia's agenda in the region.

But, he says, friends of Israel and students of scripture may have some reason to feel confident. It said it intercepted most of the Israeli missiles.

Iranian targets have repeatedly been hit inside Syria in recent weeks in attacks thought to have been conducted by Israel.

In 2011, USA officials said they foiled an Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, the current Saudi foreign minister. "I hope we finished this chapter and everyone got the message".

"We saw it was very clear what the Iranians were doing, attacking Israel from Syrian soil", he said. Siren alerts were sounded soon around midnight in the north and centre of the Golan Heights in northern Israel.

Israel released maps and even a simulated video of the strikes it carried out on Iranian targets in Syria.

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