France slams Iran over alleged rocket attack on Israeli positions

France slams Iran over alleged rocket attack on Israeli positions

France slams Iran over alleged rocket attack on Israeli positions

"The Iranian regime's deployment into Syria of offensive rocket and missile systems aimed at Israel is an unacceptable and highly risky development for the entire Middle East", the White House said in a statement.

In strikes near the capital on Wednesday, the Observatory said at least 15 were killed, including eight Iranians.

Israeli minister Avigdor Lieberman said Assad should especially beware of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Quds Force, a branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that oversees operations outside Iran's borders.

The European Union called reports about Iranian strikes against Israeli army posts from inside Syria "extremely worrying" and said Israel had the right to defend itself.

Israel claims it struck dozens of Iranian targets inside Syria early on Thursday in response to a salvo of rockets fired by Iranian forces into the occupied Golan Heights. But the possibility of a war between Israel and Iran is very real. "It is time for responsible nations to bring pressure on Iran to change this unsafe behavior", added the Press Secretary.

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Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who is allied with Hizballah, told the Associated Press in an interview that some 1,000 US troops that are stationed in northern and eastern Syria to fight the Islamic State extremist group may be in danger. It is doubtful Hezbollah has much interest in reprising its role as an Iranian messenger, which is how it has been perceived by many in Lebanon during the years of the civil war in Syria.

The withdrawal also reinforced the anti-American hostility of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, who reluctantly had gone along with Mr. Rouhani and his nuclear negotiators. The war monitor added that 25 were foreign fighters, including 11 Iranians. I delivered a clear message to the Assad regime, our action is directed against Iranian targets in Syria. He spoke as thousands of Iranians marched in anti-Israel and anti-US protests nationwide. Meanwhile, Iran's government has faced growing domestic criticism for pursuing expensive military adventures overseas while the economy stagnates; this latest setback is likely to fuel those grievances.

"Since the signing of the JCPOA (nuclear deal), we have gone from an atmosphere like a gold rush, to one of utter depression", said a Western trade diplomat on condition of anonymity.

The rising tension in Syria came just as the United States made a decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and impose new sanctions, adding to the pressure on Tehran. Not to mention the internal pressures the Iranian regime faces from a populace that has seen their lives continue to get worse.

But if they do escalate, the region could face one of its worst cross-border conflicts in decades, one that could potentially drag in the United States, a major ally of Israel, and Russian Federation, which is Syria's mightiest ally.

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