Israeli Strikes In Syria Killed 19 Iranians This Week, War Monitor Says

Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a news conference in Paris

At some point, observers believed that Israel was aiding rebels to create a buffer zone on the Syrian side of the border akin to what it did in Lebanon during the Lebanese civil war.

"Iran strongly condemns. [Israel's] attacks on Syria".

He said "six Syrian soldiers and 21 foreign fighters, including 11 Iranians" were among the dead.

Khoshroo was referring to the February 10 incident, in which Syria downed an F-16 fighter jet belonging to Israel, in response to the regime's airstrikes on the Syrian Army positions.

The U.S. -led attacks were seen by analysts as a planned assault that played in the hands of Israelis.

In strikes near the capital on Wednesday, the Observatory said at least 15 were killed, including eight Iranians.

But Thursday's air raid came amid heightened tension in the regime after President Trump announced on Tuesday that the USA would withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

"We hit almost all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria", said Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in a rare Israeli acknowledgment of strikes in Syria.

"The Israeli regime invoked that instance for a series of so-called pre-emptive military attacks, including the on April 9 2018", the Iranian envoy said, adding that Israel's actions "clearly demonstrate that the military attacks were carried out with the obvious intention to target Iranian nationals and interests legitimately deployed in the Syrian Arab Republic".

The Israeli airstrikes capped months of rising tension between Jerusalem and Damascus, which have been poised for a fight over the presence of Iranian military assets inside Syrian territory.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called Friday on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to "throw the Iranians out", saying "they are only hurting you", the BBC reported.

"I will take this opportunity to send a message to Assad: Get rid of the Iranians. get rid of the Quds Force", Lieberman said during a tour in the town of Katzrin in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Israel, which nearly never comments on strikes inside Syria, did not admit to carrying out Tuesday's attack, but it occurred shortly after the Israeli military went on "high alert" in response to "unusual movements of Iranian forces in Syria".

Israel says it has conducted dozens of operations in Syria to stop what it says are advanced arms deliveries to one of its main foes, Iran-backed Hezbollah.

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