Israel says it hit Iranian military targets in Syria

Israeli soldiers stand on tanks in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights Israel

Syria's state media stated Syrian air defenses intercepted "hostile Israeli missiles" early Thursday that had been fired over southwestern Damascus.

Washington is encouraging Israel to go on the offensive as it prepares for war with Iran.

Russia's foreign ministry said on Tuesday it was "deeply disappointed" by Trump's announcement that the United States would pull out of the Iran deal, while Netanyahu strongly supported the USA president's "bold" move.

IDF Spokesperson Brigadier-General Ronen Manelis told Army Radio this morning that the strike was one of the largest the IAF has carried out in recent years.

Israel will no doubt strike back following any attack on its territory, a scenario that could spiral into a wider conflict that experts say no side is now interested in.

Dozens of Israeli missiles hit a radar station, Syrian air defense positions and an ammunition dump, Syrian state media said, underscoring the risks of a wider escalation involving Iran and its regional allies. In Iraq, two powerful political alliances expected to win seats in parliamentary elections on Sunday also maintain strong ties to Iran. But for months, it has repeatedly said it will not accept a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria. Repeated airstrikes attributed to Israel have killed Iranian fighters and prompted threats of reprisal from Tehran.

"Israel has been involved in the targeting of Iranian surrogates and/or weapon supply routes from Iran for some time".

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While a clash between Israel and Iran poses the most immediate war threat in the Middle East, Trump's torpedoing of the Iran deal has further destabilised an already explosive region.

The two countries are still technically at war, although the border remained largely quiet for decades until 2011, when the Syrian conflict broke out.

The agreement - between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany - imposed curbs on Iranian nuclear activities in return for the lifting of worldwide sanctions.

Israel did not comment on the reports, but its government has vowed to stop what it considers Iran's military "entrenchment" in Syria.

Oil in NY extended gains above $71 a barrel on speculation that "the conflict between Iran and Israel could eventually threaten supply across the Middle East", Takayuki Nogami, chief economist at state-backed Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National Corp., said by phone from Tokyo.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has accused U.S. President Donald Trump of saying one thing one day and the opposite the next, saying "I don't think in the meantime we can achieve anything with such an administration".

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