Israel v Iran: Are they heading for a war?

French President Emmanuel Macron

But before Thursday, Iran had not retaliated, seemingly handcuffed while it awaited Trump's decision on the nuclear accord.

He said the United Nations chief, though relieved at "partial normalization of the situation", has reiterated support to long-term de-escalation efforts and stability in the Middle East and has stressed a political solution to the conflicts.

Netanyahu said in a video posted on social media: 'Iran has crossed a red line.

In a rare expression of support, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa twitted on Thursday that Tel Aviv had a right to "defend itself" after Israel said it carried out some 50 raids inside Syria.

Three people were killed by the missiles, a spokesman said.

Iranian forces are deployed in Syria to back the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, whose fighters have also received a boost from Iraqi and other foreign militias, as well as Hezbollah. "If Iran had done it, we would have announced it immediately".

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the strikes, saying 28 Israeli F-15 and F-16 warplanes had fired 60 missiles at Iranian troop concentrations and air-defense systems inside Syria.

The US assessment now is that Iran could initially strike in retaliation against Israel for its airstrikes inside Syria.

Iran has taken advantage of the chaos in Syria to build a substantial military infrastructure there. "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". Israel accuses Tehran of seeking to establish a foothold on its doorstep, something it has vowed never to allow.


Israeli military officials are attributing the attack to members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Forces.

Today, Qasemi said, the main supporters of the terrorist groups, have embarked on launching direct attacks on the Syrian territory in a bid to make good on the heavy setbacks suffered by these groups and tilt the balance of power to the favor of the decaying groups.

"We will not let Iran turn Syria into a forward base against Israel", the Israeli defense minister said.

"They must remember that if it rains here [in Israel], it will pour there", he said. He added that he hoped Israel's action had ended the conflict and "everyone understood". Its actions and air strikes are a physical and legal assault on the national integrity of Syria and the Arab people.

Israel has always been wary of Iran's growing influence in the region. Syria's capital, Damascus, shook with sounds of explosions just before dawn, and firing by Syrian air defenses over the city was heard throughout the night. And Israel is equally determined to prevent this.

Moscow did not condemn Israel's strikes, as it had in the past, instead calling on Israel and Iran to resolve their differences diplomatically.

Israel said 20 rockets, either Fajr or Grad type, were fired from Syria at its forces in the occupied Golan Heights at around midnight. Most of the enemy rockets landed in Syrian territory, though four were neutralized by the Iron Dome missile-defense system.

Authorities urged the citizens of Golan Heights - the intended target of the rocket attacks - to be on alert while stressing that normal life would resume in the area.

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