In what is now being described as the “most direct confrontation between Israel and Iran in decades,” Israel exchanged fire with Syrian and Iranian forces during a late-night showdown that ended early Thursday morning.
The exchange came days after Israel called up reserve troops to the Golan Heights, the disputed border region.
It also followed by less than two days President Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Iran deal. Trump said Tuesday that the US would swiftly reimpose economic sanctions on Iran that had been lifted following the 2015 agreement.
According to Syrian media, some 28 Israeli aircraft fired around 60 air-to-surface missiles at Syria during the exchange. Iranian lawmakers have denied the IDF’s claims that Iranian forces in Syria provoked Israel by firing on their positions in the Golan Heights border area.
Israel also launched roughly 10 surface-to-surface missiles, which struck military targets near Damascus and in Southern Syria, according to the Russian military.
Meanwhile, the IDF says Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepted 20 rockets launched at Israeli targets by Syrian and Iranian forces based in Syria.
While Israeli has pointed the finger squarely at Iran, the country’s bitter rival has denied any involvement.
Mohammad Javad Jamali Nobandegani, a member of Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, said Israel’s claim was “a lie,” adding that Israel’s history of carrying out unprovoked attacks in Syria has been well-documented.
“Iran does not have military base in Syria,” Nobandegani added.
The Israeli officials said the strikes damaged Iranian infrastructure in Syria, according to CNN.
“Israel has hit almost all of Iran’s infrastructure in Syria,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Thursday morning. “If it will rain in Israel, there will be a biblical flood on the other side.”
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