UPDATE 1-Russia, after Netanyahu visit, backs off Syria S-300 missile supplies
13 May, 2018, 03:02
Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is heading to Beijing, Moscow and Brussels over the next few days in a bid to save the Iran nuclear deal after the USA withdrawal.
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to expel Iranian forces from his country, after Israeli air strikes hit alleged Iranian targets in Syria. "I hope that we ended this chapter and that everyone understood". It responded with a massive retaliatory strike on what it said were Iranian-controlled assets, including a weapons storage facility, logistics sites and intelligence centers used by the Quds Force.
In February, Israel shot down an Iranian drone that entered its airspace, triggering a clash in which an Israeli warplane crashed after being struck by Syrian anti-aircraft fire.
The comments, by Vladimir Kozhin, an aide to President Vladimir Putin who oversees Russian military assistance to other countries, follow a visit to Moscow by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, who has been lobbying Putin hard not to transfer the missiles.
A prominent Iranian cleric on Friday threatened two Israeli cities with destruction if the Jewish state "acts foolishly" and attacks its interests again, while thousands of protesters demonstrated against President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal with world powers.
The one most agreeable to the White House would be regime change in Tehran: the association of leading figures in the administration like the national security adviser, John Bolton, with exiled Iranian opposition groups like the Mojahedin-e-Khalq may have be encouraging delusions about the likelihood of this happening.
Israel has long threatened to expose flaws in the S-300 if Russian Federation delivered it to an enemy, either Syria or Iran.
Hizbollah has said, however, that it stands ready to defend Lebanon in case of any Israeli attack, and its leader has hinted it may retaliate for repeated Israeli airstrikes in Syria.
Confronted by Iranian-allied Hizbollah on its northern border, Israel also faces another enemy to the south with Hamas in Gaza. Israel occupied most of the area in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed it in a move not recognised internationally.
Kim Jong Un meeting to take place next month No sitting USA leader has met a North Korean leader and the two countries do not have formal diplomatic ties. The historic summit could help pave the way to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
The tensions worry Russian Federation, which wants to stabilize Syria.
Syrian state media said Israeli missile strikes had hit military bases as well as an arms depot and a military radar installation, without specifying the locations. The incoming attack set off air raid sirens in the Golan.
Analysts say Israel feels it has a inexperienced mild from Washington to maneuver extra aggressively towards Iran's presence in Syria, significantly after Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear deal.
Conricus said Israel was not looking to escalate the situation but that troops will continue to be on "very high alert". "The US wants to own humiliated slaves", the ayatollah said.
The two sides have been on a collision course for months.
In strikes near the capital on May 8, the monitor said at least 15 were killed, including eight Iranians. [Israel's] attacks on Syria.
"The holy system of the Islamic Republic will step up its missile capabilities day by day so that Israel, this occupying regime, will become sleepless and the nightmare will constantly haunt it that if it does anything foolish, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground", he said, according to state television.
An American military attack on Iran might, indeed, happen, though not immediately and, if it does occur, it may well be because of a U.S. misunderstanding of the real options available to it.