Lieberman to Assad: 'Get Rid of the Iranians'

Amir Cohen  Reuters

Oil prices rose while Israel's currency and stock markets gained. Israel reported none on its side. "This is exactly what happened yesterday Syrian military batteries fired surface-to-air missiles against us and, therefore, we attacked them", Netanyahu said. Zarif accused the United States and its allies of fomenting unrest in the Middle East, "turning our region into a powder keg through their sale of hundreds of billions of dollars of useless advanced weaponry".

The alleged Iranian attack last night - I say alleged because at this stage there is no confirmation from Iranian sources as to the precise authors of the attack - involved a single and relatively short-range system, what appears to have been a multiple-barrelled rocket launcher.

This brings to 42, including 19 Iranians, the total killed during the two days of strikes.

Israel's defence minister Friday called on President Bashar Assad to "get rid" of Iranian forces in Syria, warning their continued presence would only cause trouble. Reports suggest the Iron Dome missile defense system worked well and that no Israeli citizens were injured.

He said "six Syrian soldiers and 21 foreign fighters, including 11 Iranians" were among the dead.

China responds to Israel's recent airstrikes on Iranian assets in Syria by calling on all parties concerned to exercise restraint, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a briefing on Friday.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman sought to calm concerns that the major escalation along a highly volatile frontier was the opening salvo in a wider war. "I hope that we ended this chapter and that everyone understood".

Russia's good ties to Israel were demonstrated by Netanyahu's visit, he said.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has already said that Israel won't exist in 25 years if it continues to destabilize the region. It was also a rare acknowledgement of an Israeli assault.

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Berri, a powerful longtime politician allied with Hezbollah, said the Syrian response has achieved a "balance of terror" with Israel.

After Trump announced the US withdrawal from the deal on Tuesday, Rouhani warned that Iran would resume uranium enrichment at an even higher rate if the accord collapses.

In a rare public gesture by an Arab government, Bahrain expressed its support for the Israeli air raids.

The escalating confrontation between Israel and Iran has raised fears the region may be sliding into an unprecedented direct conflict between the two archenemies.

Israel has launched its biggest attack ever on Iranian forces in Syria.

Russian Federation backed up the Syrian military's claims, saying approximately half of the incoming Israeli missiles had been intercepted by Syrian air defenses. For too long, USA policy has all but entirely ignored the Iranian buildup in Syria and neighboring countries. It may have been surprised by how much the Israelis seem to know about its activities in Syria, but it is unlikely to be dissuaded from its efforts.

The targets were Israeli military positions - not civilian areas. It also said it destroyed several Syrian air-defense systems after coming under heavy fire and that none of its warplanes were hit. "The moment they are getting closer to the border and using missiles, this is something the Israeli government will never accept", said Ben-Onn. Indeed, by Thursday morning, Israeli life returned to routine in the Golan Heights, with children going to school.

The Trump administration portrayed its rejection of that agreement as a response, in part, to Tehran's interventions in the Middle East, underpinning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's tough line towards Iran.

After the Iranian attack, it was time for Israel to retaliate. The Observatory said the missiles targeted depots and rocket launchers that likely belonged to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, killing at least 15 people, including eight Iranians.

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