Tehran Warns Multi-front Scenario Against Israel, Netanyahu Vows to Respond
Conflict between Iran and Israel escalated on Friday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announcing the readiness to confront Iran at any price and with Iran responding through Deputy Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander (IRGC) Hossein Salami, who said Iran is ready to target Israel from two fronts, adding that Israel will only have to flee through the sea.
Anyone who aims to harm Israel will pay a heavy price, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday morning at a special cabinet meeting for the 70th year of declaring Israel.
"We hear threats from Iran, and the Israeli forces are prepared for every possible Iranian move. We will fight whoever tries to harm us. We will not shy away from action against those who threaten our security. They will pay a heavy price," warned Netanyahu.
Iran immediately responded to Netanyahu's comments via Salami, who threatened Israel saying: "Do not trust your air bases, they are within the range of fire. Our fingers are on the trigger and the missiles are ready to launch. The moment the enemy decides to act against us, we will launch them."
"We have learned ways to overcome our enemies, and we can harm the enemies vital interests anywhere we want," Salami added.
Observers view those threats as serious and could lead to a direct dangerous clash, given there is no third force to ease the tension between the two.
In response, Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned Tehran on Friday not to even consider an attack on the Jewish state, which he said Israel has never been better prepared to counter Iran.
"I would suggest to all those on our northern border to think again about what they are doing," Liberman said.
The minister stressed that Israel is ready for every scenario, including a multi-front scenario, adding: "I don’t remember a time when we were so prepared and so ready, both the army and the people of Israel."
Things deteriorated two weeks ago when Israel bombed an Iranian air base in Damascus known as T4, killing 14 persons including 7 Iranian officers. Iran officially vowed to retaliate.
Last Monday, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said his country will sooner or later respond to the recent crime and aggression of Israel. Qassemi said the attack will be met with a response, emphasizing that Israel’s “hit and run” policy shouldn't be tolerated anymore.
Israel responded to the threat via a senior Israeli security official who said that "in the event of a military confrontation with Iran in Syria, Israel will bring down the Syrian regime."
New York Times journalist Todd Friedman published a statement that he considered a "slip of the tongue" from a senior Israeli army officer in which he said Israel had hit Iran's base and killed Iranian officers. It was then published that it was "calling the Israeli reserve was a mistake, as a result of a computer error."
According to an Israeli official, the "mistake" was not a mistake but a part of the war plans.
Earlier on Thursday during a meeting with foreign diplomats, Netenyahu addressed the officials saying there are two things that "you can do to help Israel celebrate this great Independence Day. The first thing is—speak out against Iran."
"Iran is the enemy of us all—of Israel, the Arab world, Civilization," he stressed.
The Prime minister addressed that it is 2018 and Iran openly speaks about liquidating Israel.
"It encircles the whole Middle East which it wants to conquer, it fires rockets into Riyadh and Saudi Arabia, it is occupying Lebanon effectively, it’s trying to inflame Gaza again, it is in Iraq, and it is trying to establish a military base in Syria, which all peace loving nations should resist, speak out against Iran," he urged.
According to Israeli military expert Alex Fishman, the sequence of events during the past week in Israel, which included a series of "mistakes", was not a coincidence, but a strategy pursued by Israel aimed at entering into a military confrontation with Iran on Syrian territory.
At this stage, Israel concluded that diplomatic methods and the limited military strikes are no longer adequate, and it must take new steps, according to Fishman. However, he noted that the policy of controlling "flames" contains a large amount of risk.
Israel currently expects Russia to intervene in the matter and accept its red lines, rejecting any Iranian military presence in Syria. Russia has no interest in a confrontation between Iran and Israel at present time, as it would suspend and possibly end all agreements and compromises reached by Russia in Syria so far.