But this is only a flare-up of long-simmering tensions.
It is believed to be the first time that Iranian forces were directly responsible for launching a rocket campaign at Israel without the use of proxy forces such as Hezbollah and other terror groups.
Israeli officials said they had significantly set back Iran’s military capabilities in Syria but would remain vigilant as Iran flew in new weapons and equipment.
Tehran accused Israel of having carried out the attack but Israel, as per its known policy, did not accept or deny any responsibility. Whoever prepares themselves to attack us will be attacked first.
Israel said it had attacked almost all of Iran’s military infrastructure in Syria on May 10 after Iranian forces fired rockets at Israeli-held territory for the first time. Most of the enemy rockets landed in Syrian territory, though four were neutralized by the Iron Dome missile-defense system. There were no casualties.
But the chairman of Iran’s parliamentary committee on foreign affairs condemned Israel for carrying out the strikes in Syria. Israel is far from the only country concerned with Iranian interference in Middle East affairs. Their forces in Syria support President Bashar al-Asaad. Any attack from Lebanon would risk the immediate opening of a new front against Israel.
Some analysts have linked the Golan Heights rocket attack to Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States is withdrawing from the JCPOA, the nuclear agreement with Iran. “So the Islamic Republic can afford to lessen investment against insurgents and focus more on Israel”, Toumaj said.
Then this week, the Iranians fired about 20 rockets at Israeli military positions on the Golan Heights.
Syrian media blamed Israeli airstrikes for explosions south of the capital of Damascus on Tuesday.
The United Nations, Western nations and Saudi Arabia say Iran supplies the Houthis with long-range missiles capable of reaching Riyadh.
Trump had railed against the pact for years, arguing that it failed to halt Iran’s activities beyond its nuclear pursuits, such as its support for groups deemed terrorist organizations by the U.S.
At least 23 people were reported killed in the overnight strikes, 18 of whom were identified as foreigners, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Israel has said it will do what it takes to fend off Iran’s military entrenchment. Pulling out of the JCPOA can be seen as the moment when the USA signalled to Iran that the gloves had come off, but the battle was already brewing. The global community’s silence encourages Israel’s aggression.
The spokesman did not mention the Iranian bases Israel said were targeted in the operation.
The Israeli raids had prompted concern Iran could activate its powerful ally Hezbollah to retaliate from its positions in southern Lebanon, opening up a deadly new front in the conflict.
But Israel may be ready for that as well, as Israeli reporter Barak Ravid quoted Israel’s defense minister as saying, “If it rains in Israel, it will pour in Iran”.
UNIFIL now has 10,500 troops on the ground, monitoring the truce and helping Lebanese troops secure the borders.
He called for the Iranian regime to “refrain from further actions which will only lead to increased instability in the region”.