Israel, Iran Exchange Threats as Syria Tensions Flare

Monday, 21 January, 2019 - 11:45
Asharq Al-Awsat

Tel Aviv and Tehran exchanged threats on Monday after Israeli warplanes pounded Iranian targets in Syria in response to a rocket that Iranian forces fired toward Israel.

Speaking at a dedicating ceremony for a new airport, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel won't "allow such acts of aggression to go unanswered."

Netanyahu vowed that "whoever tries to harm us, we will harm them. Whoever threatens to destroy us, will bear the full responsibility."

It was Netanyahu's first acknowledgment of Israel's most severe strike in Syria in nearly a year.

The Israeli military said the Iranian Revolutionary Guards targets that its jets struck in Syria included munition storage facilities, an intelligence site and a military training camp.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 11 were killed in the strikes.

Netanyahu’s threats came after chief of the Iranian Air Force Gen. Aziz Nassirzadeh said his forces are "impatient and ready" to fight Israel in order to destroy it.

A news website affiliated with Iran's state television, YJC.ir, quoted Nassirzadeh as saying that the Air Force's "young generation are impatient and ready for a fight against the Zionist regime to wipe it off the Earth."

Nassirzadeh spoke during a visit to the Air Force's academy after the pre-dawn Israeli strikes.

On Sunday, Iranian forces fired toward Israel a surface-to-surface rocket that was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system over a ski resort in the Golan Heights. That followed a rare Israeli daylight air raid near the Damascus International Airport.

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