Israel said it attacked nearly all of Iran’s military infrastructure in Syria on Thursday after Iranian forces fired rockets at Israeli-held territory for the first time.
It was the heaviest Israeli barrage in Syria since the start in 2011 of its war, in which Iranians, allied Shi’ite Muslim militias and Russian troops have deployed in support of President Bashar al-Assad.
|Israel says it attacked targets in Syria after Iranian rocket fire
The Syrian Army Command said Israel’s attack killed three people and injured two others. A Britain-based war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the strikes killed at least 23 military personnel, including Syrians and non-Syrians.
Expectations of a regional flare-up, amid warnings from Israel that it was determined to prevent any Iranian military entrenchment in Syria, were stoked by U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement on Tuesday that he was withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
The Trump administration portrayed its rejection of that agreement as a response, in part, to Iran’s military interventions in the Middle East, underpinning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s tough line toward Tehran.
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the Iranian rockets either fell short of their targets - military bases in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights - or were intercepted.