Speed Reads

Israel vs Iran

Israel attacks Iranian targets in Syria as regional conflict escalates

Early Thursday, Israel said it had sent missiles and fighter jets into Syria, targeting "dozens" of Iranian assets, including weapons depots, intelligence centers, and logistics sites, as well as destroying Syrian air-defense systems. Syria's Sana news agency said two civilians were killed in the strike; Israel says none of its fighter jets were hit. "We do not know yet the (Iranian) casualty count," said Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. This is the most serious escalation in long-simmering tensions between Iran and Israel since Syria's civil war started in 2011. Israel has been attacking Iranian targets in Syria for weeks, warning it won't accept a permanent Iranian presence in its neighboring country.

Conricus said that Israel had targeted Iran's Quds Force, an arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that is fighting alongside Syrian troops, in retaliation for Iran's missile attack on the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights earlier Thursday. He said Israel shot down four of Iran's 20 rockets and the rest fell short of their Israeli military targets. "Should there be another Iranian attack, we will be prepared for it," he added. Israel said it gave prior warning of its strike to Russia, which is also fighting with Syria. Iran has not commented on Thursday's skirmishes.

Hours after President Trump announced that he is reneging on America's involvement in the Iran nuclear deal, Israel reportedly sent missiles into Syria, hitting a military outpost outside Damascus; Israel, per usual custom, did not confirm or deny launching the attack. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the attack killed at least 15 people, at least either of them Iranian. Israel is also believed to be behind attacks in April on Syria's T4 air base, which killed seven Iranians, and a Syrian government outpost in the northern part of the country.