Jerusalem: The Israeli Army said on Thursday that it had hit dozens of Iranian military targets in Syria overnight after rocket and missile fire toward its forces which it blamed on Iran, marking a sharp escalation in tensions.
“The Israeli military has struck dozens of Iranian military targets in Syria,” Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus told journalists. He said they targeted intelligence, logistics, storage, and vehicles as well as the origin of the rockets.
It was one of the largest Israeli military operations in recent years and the biggest against Iranian targets.
“They need to remember the saying that if it rains on us, it’ll storm on them. I hope we’ve finished this episode and everyone understood,” said the Israeli Army.
“We hit nearly all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria,” Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman told a security conference.
Israel carried out the raids after it said around 20 rockets either Fajr or Grad-type were fired from Syria at its forces in the occupied Golan Heights at around midnight.
Lieberman called the rocket fire “a new phase”.
“We don’t want an escalation, but won’t let anyone attack us or build an infrastructure to attack us in the future,” Lieberman added.
Conricus also stressed that Israel was not seeking an escalation.
“We’re facing a new reality. The Iranian attempt to bring anti-aircraft systems to our borders and close our skies is intolerable and unacceptable,” Lieberman said.
The incident came after weeks of rising tensions and followed US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, a move Israel had long advocated.