ISRAEL launched a second deadly missile strike on Syria today amid warnings that the Middle East is edging closer to a wider war.
Tel Aviv’s latest aggression occurred in the wake of its bombing of a Syrian military base just an hour after US President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday.
At least nine pro-government troops were killed in Tuesday’s blast, including members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard which has been aiding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the seven-year war ravaging the country.
The missiles were launched shortly after midnight today as Israel claimed that Iranian forces had launched an attack on the Golan Heights, an area of Syrian territory illegally occupied by Israel since 1967.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry warned that “the direct aggression” of Israel represented a new phase of the war following Mr Assad’s victory over its “terrorist tools.”
It said that the latest action would only increase tension in the region, posing a serious threat to international peace and security, but that it would not succeed in reviving the “conspiratorial project in Syria.”
Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus claimed: “The attack destroyed an Iranian military camp north of the Syrian capital, arms depots at the Damascus airport and a car-mounted mobile launcher that was used to strike at Israeli positions near the border with Syria.”
But Syria’s army claimed it had managed to intercept and destroy most of the Israeli rockets, saying it was “alert and ready to defend the sovereignty of the homeland against any aggression.”
It confirmed in a statement that three people had been killed in the strikes, which it said had destroyed a radar station and ammunition depot.
The Israeli missile strike represents a dangerous escalation of hostilities in the region, raising fears of a war between Israel and Iran.
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has previously called for the execution of Arab members of the Knesset, warned Iran against retaliatory strikes.
“They need to remember the saying that, if it rains on us, it’ll storm on them. I hope we’ve finished this episode and everyone understood,” he said.
Mr Lieberman claimed that “nearly all the Iranian infrastructure” in Syria had been wiped out when Israeli warplanes unleashed dozens of rockets into Syrian territory.
Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German warned against any further aggression in the region and called for an immediate ceasefire in Syria.
“We are racing towards further war in the Middle East and Trump and Netanyahu are stoking the flames. Israel is not firing rockets in retaliation but as part of attacks on Iran and Hezbollah in Syria.
“This is, of course, connected to Trump’s tearing-up of the Iran nuclear deal. Israel illegally occupies the Golan Heights and is the only Middle Eastern power to actually have nuclear weapons.”
She said that a war between Iran and Israel would lead to massive loss of life and must be prevented.
“There should be a ceasefire in Syria and a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East,” Ms German urged.
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