Monitor: Israeli Strikes Killed 23, Including Foreign Fighters, Assad Forces

Russian President Vladimir Putin right meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kremlin in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin right meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kremlin in Moscow

"We hit nearly all of the Iranian infrastructure in Syria", Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Thursday at the Herzliya Conference, a security and defense convention.

Israel and Iran reached the brink of full-scale war Thursday as the Islamic Republic's unprovoked rocket attack on soldiers in the Golan Heights gave way to an unprecedented Israeli counter-strike that targeted almost all Iranian infrastructure inside Syria. There were no Israeli casualties.

During his Wednesday visit to the Kremlin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is understood to have warned Putin about strikes on Iran's military assets inside Syria.

Russia's defense ministry said Syria had shot down more than half of the missiles fired by Israel, RIA news agency reported. "It means practically, if they attack us, we will attack them". It also stated that it destroyed several Syrian air-defense systems after coming under heavy fire.

It was one of the largest Israeli military operations in recent years and its biggest such raid against Iranian targets, the military said.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the rockets, which were targeted at front-line Israeli military positions in the Golan Heights, were all either downed by aerial defense systems or fell short and landed in Syria.

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

Israel "views this Iranian attack very severely", Conricus told reporters.

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Last month, an attack on Syria's T4 air base in the central Homs province killed seven Iranian military personnel. Israel reported none on its side.

"Yesterday I delivered a clear message to the Assad regime: Our action is directed against Iranian targets in Syria".

In a statement, the White House blamed the "provocative" attacks by Iran, saying the United States strongly supports "Israel's right to act in self-defense".

"The global community should prevent the establishment of the Iranian Quds Force in Syria". There was no response to a query sent by JewishPress.com to the headquarters of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force.

It said the rockets followed a "first Israeli bombardment on the town of Baath" in Syria's Quneitra Governorate.

Expectations of a regional flare-up were stoked by US President Donald Trump's announcement on Tuesday he was withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal.

Putin - as many global diplomats have warned could happen - finds himself, absent a working peace plan in Syria, riding a tiger. The attacks were reportedly carried out by 28 warplanes firing 70 missiles at their targets. We see them acting everywhere. On April 30, Israel was said to have struck government outposts in northern Syria, killing more than a dozen pro-government fighters, many of them Iranians. "It means we are on a collision course".

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