Israeli military official confirms airstrikes over Syria

Memorial Day in Israel

Israel released details on Tuesday about what it described as an Iranian "air force" deployed in neighbouring Syria, including civilian planes suspected of transferring arms, a signal that these could be attacked should tensions with Tehran escalate.

The Israeli-Russian relationship is becoming increasingly tense. Russia, Iran and Syria were quick to accuse Israel of the attack as well. The installations could constitute potential targets for an Israeli response should Iran attack Israel.

Iranian military forces, however, are already entrenching themselves in Syrian bases within striking distance of Israeli towns. For example, the Shayrat base was targeted in last year's cruise missile attack specifically because it was used by the Syrian Air Force to deliver its chemical weapons.

But in general, Israel has stayed out of the Syrian war.

On April 10, Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that he did not actually know who had launched the missiles at the Syrian airfield. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi further stated, "The Israeli regime's aggression against Syria is a breach of this country's national sovereignty and territorial integrity and runs counter to all worldwide regulations and principles".

All that has now changed. In a press briefing, Kuperwasser told reporters that Israel and Iran are "in an ongoing armed conflict around Iranian aspiration to turn Syria into a base from which it can improve its capability to hit Israel". For the Israeli public, this means that the clouds of war hover over - but haven't darkened - the Independence Day celebration. The Israelis have also signaled to Russian Federation, however, that they will not allow it to constrain their operations. There is definitely a clash of interests, threat perceptions and a no agreement of how to handle the Iranian presence, designs and operations in Syria.

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These are fearless words.

Both Russia and Iran are paying substantial military, financial and diplomatic costs to support Assad. Coupled with Hezbollah's growing strength, and the weekly Hamas-inspired protests in Gaza, Israel faces the specter of a three-front war for the first time since 1967. It is believed to be the largest ever loss of life by Iran's military in an Israeli attack in Syria.

By Sunday night, the White House issued a statement stressing that the US would not be drawn into the wider war.

Doran said Israel and the United States should coordinate to contain Iran.

Noting the relationships he has built in recent years - such as in Latin American, Africa and Asia - Netanyahu said he is amazed at the appreciation and admiration world leaders have for Israel. In this case, the possibility of a great-power confrontation, along the lines of the U.S. The Syrian Kurds are closely allied with the U.S. Yet Turkey regards them as terrorists and fears they are working with Turkey's own restive Kurds.

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