Israel warns Iran and Syria of retaliation after rocket attacks

A Ghadr-H missile center a solid-fuel surface-to-surface Sejjil missile and a portrait of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are displayed at Baharestan Square in Tehran Iran

A Ghadr-H missile center a solid-fuel surface-to-surface Sejjil missile and a portrait of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are displayed at Baharestan Square in Tehran Iran

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani told German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a telephone call that he did not want "new tensions" in the Middle East. Rouhani did not mention of Israel's strikes in Syria, or those against the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. "This is part of a structural conflict unfolding between Israel and Iran in Syria".

A day after it attacked Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria, the IDF released a short video showing an Israeli missile destroying a truckload of Syrian missiles.

The concern now is that the shadow war Israel and Iran have been waging for years, most recently in Syria under the cover of the civil war there, has now burst into the open. Nobody was killed or injured in the attacks and no rockets struck Israeli territory, the army said.

The Syrian military said the Israeli strikes killed three people and wounded two, without saying if any Iranians or Iran-backed militiamen were among them. 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.

It was the most serious military confrontation between Israel and Iran to date and Israel's biggest strike in Syria since the 1973 war. Syria's foreign ministry said Israel's attacks are the "start of a new phase of aggression" against Syria and will do nothing but "increase tensions in the region". They are trying to transfer forces and deadly weapons there with the explicit goal of attacking the State of Israel.

Incoming rocket sirens were activated at 12:10 in the morning in Israel's northern Golan Heights communities of Majdal Shams, Neve Ativ, Nimrod, Masa'ade, Buqa'ata, Odem and El Rom.

It led to immediate calls for restraint from Russia, France and Germany. Iran has been badly beaten by its great enemy and condemned on the world stage days after the United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.

In a statement delivered shortly after midnight Thursday, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces pinned the blame for the rocket fire on the Quds Force, an elite division of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has forces in Syria and is often seen as the face of Iran's regional ambitions. The safe zone expansion marks a move toward deeper Israeli involvement in Syria's civil war.

A senior pro-regime military source in Syria confirmed the salvo of rockets, insisting Israel had fired first.

Israel had been preparing itself for weeks for possible Iranian retaliation.

This escalation is only the second time that Iran has been accused of directly targeting Israeli soil, following a failed drone attack in February.

The army's Conricus said intelligence, logistics and storage facilities and vehicles were targeted as well as the origin of the rockets.

"Iran has crossed a red line", he said.

Iran has sent thousands of troops to back Assad, and Israel fears that as the fighting nears an end, Iran and tens of thousands of Shiite militiamen will turn their focus to Israel.

We have allowed Israel to warp our domestic politics, to the point where we say we are doing them a favor while our actions benefit Saudi Arabia the most (more on that in a second). If anything, their subjugation helps Iran, as it creates endless amounts of cover to launch various operations against Israel. "It's a direct war and that's what makes it particularly unsafe", said Martin S. Indyk, a former United States ambassador to Israel.

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