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Israel strikes 'dozens' of Iranian targets in Syria

Israel strikes 'dozens' of Iranian targets in Syria

The report further said that Iran's second in command in Syria, Mohammad Reda Falah Zadeh, may also "be a target" of an Israeli attack.

Israel said the targets of the strikes, its largest in Syria since the 1973 war, included weapons storage, logistics sites and intelligence centres used by elite Iranian forces in Syria.

Israel had intercepted four of the rockets, while the rest fell inside the country but failed to hit any of the targets.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi condemned the Israeli attack on Syria, calling it an attempt by "the main supporter of terrorist groups" in Syria to retaliate their many defeats against the Syrian government.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman later told a conference in the town of Herzliya that the IDF had "hit nearly all of the Iranian infrastructure in Syria".

Prime Minister Theresa May's official spokesman said: "We condemn Iran's attack on Israel". "I hope we have finished this chapter", Liberman said at a policy conference north of Tel Aviv in Herzliya.

The US assessment now is that Iran could initially strike in retaliation against Israel for its airstrikes inside Syria. This is the first time that Israel has directly accused Iran of firing on its territory.

All night, drones buzzed overhead, heard but not seen in the darkness. "Their whole presence only brings problems and destruction", Lieberman said in the northern city of Katzrin.

Lieberman estimates that around 20 Iranian Grad and Fajr rockets were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome air defence system.

Syrian media earlier said the hostilities began with Israeli fire at Syrian positions in southern Syria from across the border.

A spokeswoman for the IDF said it was a "specific call-up based on need".

Israeli officials have expressed disappointment that neither the US nor Russian Federation has committed to prevent the Iranian military from striking root permanently in Syria.

"Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) bears full responsibility for the consequences of its reckless actions", the statement added.

The Israeli authorities and the military believe "they can launch strikes at will", he added. Israel has not commented on the strike. And just a few days ago, Israel claimed it struck at missiles that were being readied to be launched.

Sirens blasted in Golan Heights during the attack and the IDF told residents to stay in the bomb shelters.

On Wednesday morning, the IDF chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, visited the Golan Heights to meet with military and civilian leaders on the IDF's assessment of the situation.

In a separate statement, the Israeli army claimed its fighter jets had struck some 50 military targets associated with Iran's Quds Force inside Syrian territory.

Pro-Iranian factions have in the past attacked Israeli tourists overseas or Jewish organisations, notably in Latin America.

In a rare if not unprecedented move for an Arab country, Bahrain backed Israel's right to "defend itself" after the strikes.

Israel has always been wary of Iran's growing influence in the region. But it then went on to strike at most, if not all, of the Iranian installations it knows about in Syria.

Assad told the paper that "wise Russian leadership" would prevent such an event, describing the current conflict as "something more than a cold war, less than a full-blown war".

"They must remember that if it rains here [in Israel], it will pour there", he said.

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