Israeli strikes kill 42 in Syria this week

Israel said it instructed civic authorities on the Golan Heights to ready bomb shelters deployed new defences and mobilised some reservist forces

Israel said it instructed civic authorities on the Golan Heights to ready bomb shelters deployed new defences and mobilised some reservist forces

The statement came after Iranian forces in Syria were accused by Israel of launching some 20 missiles at Israel, prompting Israeli strikes against positions held by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) inside Syria.

"At least 27 pro-regime fighters were killed" in Thursday's strikes, said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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

The strikes dramatically ramped up tensions in the region days after US President Donald Trump announced a withdrawal from an worldwide deal that had aimed at easing tensions between Iran and the West.

The Israeli military stated that the Israeli Air Force strikes severely weakened Iran's military infrastructure in Syria, crowning the air raids "a great success".

Israel says it struck targets in Syria after Iranian rockets were fired onto the Golan Heights.

"They need to remember the saying that if it rains on us, it'll storm on them".

The cabinet also pointed out that Iran's agenda has changed following Trump's decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement.

Trump had long threatened to withdraw from the accord, saying it was too easy on Iran.

Analysts say Israel feels it has a green light from Washington to move more aggressively against Iran's presence in Syria, particularly after Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

France still hopes for a wider settlement that will cover Iran's activities across the Middle East, and warned Tehran on Thursday "against any temptation for regional dominance".

Imad Moustapha told Russia's Sputnik news agency on Friday that Syria would shoot down missiles fired by Tel Aviv and target the regime's warplanes that violate the Syrian airspace. "Syria has every right to defend itself", state TV reported foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying. "The Israeli claim was made to portray its attacks on Syria as an attempt to contain Iran, thus winning the approval of the U.S. and the Saudis", he said.

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