Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the opening of an airport near Eilat in southern Israel, January 21, 2019 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israeli and Iranian leaders have traded threats after Israel’s attacks on Iranian targets in Syria on Sunday night.
In its latest missile strikes, Israel hit about 10 pro-Assad targets, claiming some belonged to the Quds Force, the elite branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. The Israel Defense Forces said they included a weapons warehouses at the Damascus International Airport, an Iranian intelligence site, and an Iranian training camp.
Israel said it was responding to “dozens” of Iranian missiles fired on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Early on Sunday, there were explosions in southern Damascus, with Syrian State media claiming that they were from a rare Israeli daytime strike.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has set aside the Israeli military policy of no comment on attacks, said on Monday that “Iran will face the consequences of threatening to destroy Israel.”
The commander of the Iranian army’s air force, Gen. Aziz Nasirzadeh, declared, “We are wholeheartedly prepared to fight Israel….The next generation of Iranian soldiers are learning the skills for the doomsday when they will destroy Israel.”
Speaking as he opened a new airport in southern Israel, Netanyahu said:
Whoever tries to hurt us – we hurt them. Whoever threatens to destroy us will bear the full responsibility….We are acting against Iran and against the Syrian forces that abet the Iranian aggression.
The Prime Minister warned Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, “[Your] government will be in danger if [you] allow Iranians to act against Israel from Syria.”