Saturday, December 2, 2023

Israeli military says struck Syria, Lebanon

Israel has carried out strikes against military infrastructures in Syria and Lebanon, its military has announced, amid concerns Tel Aviv's offensive against Hamas could devolve into broader conflict across the Middle East.

Israeli fighter jets targeted rocket launchers in Syria and Hezbollah targets in Lebanon in response to earlier rocket launches into Israeli territory, Israel’s military claimed early on Monday.

Israeli military officials did not provide further details about the attacks, including possible casualties.

Syrian state TV reported Israeli air attacks targeted two army posts in the southwestern city of Deraa, adding that the raids led to “some material losses”.

Hezbollah has also said it shot down an Israeli drone over southern Lebanon with a surface-to-air missile. It added that the drone was hit near Khiam, about 5km (3 miles) from the border and was seen falling into Israeli territory.

The United States has also carried out attacks on Syria in response to a sharp rise in rocket and drone attacks on its forces in the country as well as Iraq, which it has blamed on Iran-backed proxy groups.

Tehran has denied that it had instructed groups in Syria and Iraq to target US troops in recent days.

On Thursday, the Pentagon announced it had carried out strikes on two facilities in Syria after President Joe Biden earlier pledged to respond to attacks on US personnel.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has warned of regional escalation if Israel continues its war against Hamas, saying earlier this month that, “Muslims and resistance forces will become impatient, and no one can stop them.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told CNN on Saturday that his country did not want to see the war spread and that it was “totally wrong” for Washington to blame Tehran for attacks on its forces without providing proof.

Iran, which backs both Hamas and Hezbollah, has denied any role in Hamas October 7 attacks on Israel. US and Israeli officials have said they have not found evidence of its involvement.

Iranian government officials, however, offered their congratulations to the Palestinian armed group, describing the surprise attack as a victory for “the anti-Zionist resistance”.

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