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Israeli Minister Holds Iran Responsible for Syria, Lebanon Strikes

Israeli Minister Holds Iran Responsible for Syria, Lebanon Strikes

Thursday, 8 February, 2018 - 07:30
Israeli f-16 fighter jet. Reuters file photo

Syrian air defense systems intercepted an Israeli air attack on a military position near the capital Damascus on Wednesday, Syrian forces said as an Israeli minister held Iran directly responsible for such raids.

"This morning, Israeli warplanes fired several missiles from Lebanese airspace on one of our military positions in the Damascus countryside," said a Syrian military statement carried by state media. 

"Our air defense systems blocked them and destroyed most of them."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, said at least some Israeli missiles had hit military targets near Damascus.

"Syria's air defense system blocked some of the missiles, but others hit ammunition depots near Jamraya," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The raid came as Israeli minister Naftali Bennett said: "Iran is behind the anti-Israel activity in Syria and Lebanon."

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali “Khamenei is willing to fight Israel until the last drop of Syrian, Lebanese and Gazan blood, but does not send his own troops. For 30 years we have been sending our soldiers to fight Iran’s” proxies in the region, he said.

He neither confirmed nor denied Wednesday's raid but said: "The force behind everything is Iran and we must pinpoint the laser on it. I am putting forward a strategic line and saying that we will not be handling things with surgical precision, we view neighborhoods that have rockets as legitimate targets."

Bennett was responding to a question whether an attack on Iran was imminent. 

Between 2006-2012 Iran was able to transfer to Hezbollah 130,000 rockets, he said, describing it as a “strategic failure” by Israel.

“Now they are seeking to make all those rockets precise and we will not allow that to happen," Bennett warned.

Israel has carried out dozens of airstrikes inside Syria in the course of Syria's civil war, against suspected arms shipments believed to be bound for “Hezbollah,” which is fighting alongside Syrian regime forces.

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