Netanyahu accuses Iran of deploying 'dangerous' weapons in Syria

Lucy Bush
May 11, 2018

Tensions between Israel and Iran have threatened to spill over in Syria, where the Iranian military and allied Shi'ite militia are backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his war against rebels seeking to oust him. It also found 62 percent of Israelis support the US leaving the Iran deal, 17 were against it. Sixty-two percent are concerned war will break out, compared with 31 percent who say they are not. There were no casualties.

A western diplomat in Beirut told dpa that Iran was trying to send a message to Israel that it was capable of hitting back at any attack.

Tuesday's strikes came just hours after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from a multinational nuclear deal with Iran, a move Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately praised as "brave" and "correct".

Netanyahu's speech railing against the nuclear deal to the U.S. Congress in 2015 angered former U.S. president Barack Obama, who negotiated the agreement.

It said weapons stores, missile launchers and intelligence facilities were all targeted in the wave of strikes overnight.

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The Israel Air Force struck a military base in the el-Kiswah suburb of Damascus last night, according to media reports in Syria.

An hour before Trump announced that the USA would leave the "rotten" deal with Iran, a host of IAF warplanes were patrolling the skies in north-east Israel.

A Syrian military source, state media and a monitoring group said Israeli missiles were earlier targeting regime sites in the Queintra region on the Syrian side of the border.

That came after CNN reported on Tuesday that Pentagon officials are concerned about signs that Iran might be preparing a military strike against Israel from Syria.

From the port of Kargh, for example, Iran exports 90 percent of its oil, while only eight refineries in the country produce 80 percent of the fuel it consumes.

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Iran is an ally of Mr Assad and has deployed hundreds of troops to Syria.

Mr Netanyahu speaks with Mr Putin about once every two weeks, and they meet regularly, while their militaries maintain a hotline between Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv and the Russian base in Hmeimim in Syria. Thousands of militiamen armed, trained and financed by Iran - mostly from Lebanon's Hezbollah movement, but also Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen - have also been fighting alongside the Syrian army.

Threats of Iranian retaliation follow numerous airstrikes against Iranian military targets in Syria that have been attributed to Israel.

The Israel Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday evening preempted an Iranian drone or missile strike on the Golan Heights.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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