Israel: Nearly all of Iran’s military capabilities in Syria destroyed

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Israel: Nearly all of Iran's military capabilities in Syria destroyed

Tensions are escalating between Iran and Israel. Israel has said it’s destroyed nearly all of Iran’s military capabilities in Syria. It was reportedly retaliation for an Iranian missile attack on the Golan Heights. Syria’s Army states at least three were killed in the Israeli attacks. Observers, however, put the death toll at nearly two dozen people, including non-Syrians.

CGTN’s Stephanie Freid reports.

Israel’s security cabinet met in a special session Thursday night, as tensions with Iran bubbled dangerously close to the surface. Israeli officials said they hit dozens of Iranian sites inside Syria overnight Wednesday, including intel operations, weapons depots, and Revolutionary guard bases. The strikes were retaliation for what they say was a 20-strong rocket stream fired on Israel around midnight.

Israel maintains it will bar Iran from building up a military presence inside Syria. Wednesday’s confrontation came hours after Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

“Our policy is clear. We will not allow Iran to militarily entrench inside Syria,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “Yesterday, I sent a clear message to the Assad regime: Our actions are aimed at Iranian targets inside Syria. But if the Syrian army takes action against us, we will take action against it.”

Germany, France and England condemned the Iranian rocket barrage. Russia, meanwhile, has urged restraint.

“As for escalation between Israel and Iran, we think it is a rather disturbing trend,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. “We believe that all the problems should solved through a dialogue. And many times in contacts with the leadership of Iran and Israel, including yesterday at the meeting between President Putin and Prime Minister Netanyahu, we emphasized the need to avoid any actions which would be mutually – so to say – provoking,”

Meanwhile, on the Israel side of the demarcation line, military outposts bolstered their positions with artillery and rocket replenishments, as both Iran and Israel reiterated that they did not want escalation.