‘Kill first!’ Netanyahu claims Israel’s Syria strikes thwarted imminent ‘Iranian aggression’

25 Août, 2019, 09:20 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • GAZAN PROTESTERS at the border fence on Saturday

As regional tensions simmered in the wake of the Syria airstrike, the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group said Sunday that it brought downtwo Israeli drones over the Lebanese capital Beirut.

Syria has condemned the attacks while rejecting Israeli claims about the presence of any Iranian forces or their allied militia in the country.

The IDF announced late Saturday night that Israeli forces thwarted a deadly attack on Israel by Iran, attacking a number of terrorist targets southeast of Damascus in Syria.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also defense minister, later held a midnight emergency meeting at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv with IDF chief Aviv Kohavi and Mossad head Yossi Cohen, as well as other senior defense officials. "We were able to thwart this attack with fighter jets", he said, saying the Iranian attack was believed to be "very imminent".

Since the beginning of the war in Syria in 2011, Israel has conducted hundreds of strikes in Syria, a lot of them against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets.

"We just prevented a pending, large-scale attack of multiple killer drones on Israel by striking Iranian Quds Force operatives and Shiite Militia targets in Syria", the IDF wrote in a post on Twitter.

Military spokesman Conricus said Israel held both Iran and Syria responsible for the planned drone attack, noting that forces in northern Israel were on "elevated readiness to respond to any development".

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The Quds force are part of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.

"I have directed that our forces be prepared for any scenario".

The Air Force was placed on high alert at bases around the country and Iron Dome missile defense batteries were deployed in the north.

There was no immediate response from Iran following the Israeli attack.

In this photo provided by the Iranian Army Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, soldiers carry the wreckage of a drone during drills in Semnan, Iran. Direct clashes between Israel and Iranian forces have been rare. In response, Israel carried out extensive airstrikes on Iranian positions in Syria.

Israel has acknowledged carrying out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria in recent years, a lot of them aimed at arms shipments believed to be headed from Iran to its Shiite proxy Hezbollah. Tehran is considered to be one of Damascus's closest allies.

On Wednesday, the PMF, the umbrella grouping of Iraq's mostly Shi'ite Muslim paramilitary groups, said the United States had allowed four Israeli drones to enter the region accompanying USA forces and carry out missions on Iraqi territory.

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