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Iran will suffer dire consequences if it threatens Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu warned as he ordered illustrative air raids in Syria, reminding voters in the looming snap elections of his firm stance on the occupied Golan Heights.
In a rare public acknowledgement of Israeli cross-border operations, Netanyahu on Sunday boasted of personally ordering airstrikes against Syrian military positions. As a demonstration of Tel Aviv’s readiness to respond with “great force to any aggression,” the IAF pounded Syrian army’s artillery batteries, observation posts and air defense units, killing 3 soldiers and wounding 7 others – in retaliation for two rocket allegedly launched from the Syrian side.
While we do not make light of Iran’s threats, neither are we deterred by them because anyone who tries to hurt us will be hurt far worse.
Mere hours after Netanyahu’s passionate speech, Syrian Arab Air Force Tiyas Airbase was targeted in another air raid. At least one Syrian soldier was killed and two others wounded in the attack which military sources also blamed on Israel.
Damascus, which views the raids as a blatant violation of its sovereignty, repeatedly accused Israel of helping and boosting the morale of the remaining terrorists in Syria. Sunday’s raid too corresponded with “successive terrorist attacks in the northern suburbs of Hama and Idlib,” Sana reported.
Israel seems to have intensified its cross-border intrusions, inspired by the US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, while the rest of the world continues to dispute the occupation, analysts told RT.
“Israel responded so quickly because they want to preserve the status quo of the Israeli occupation,” Ali Rizk, a Middle East-based journalist and writer told RT. “Israel has no right to be on the Golan Heights in the first place.”
Observers agree that the raids could be interpreted as campaign stunt to boost popularity of Netanyahu and his Likud party, who are running for re-election in September, after failing to form a coalition government for the first time in Israeli history.
“Netanyahu is on solid ground when it comes to his security policy and dealing with threats. He enjoys broad support both from the left and the right on this matter,” political analyst, Mitchell Barak told RT.
“Not many countries would follow the US in recognition of Jerusalem and the Golan heights,” Rizk added. “These steps taken by Washington benefit primarily Netanyahu – still he is up for re-election anyway.”
“We see a continued campaign of strikes, counter-strikes and retaliation. Both sides play more for politics; it is not only the Israeli side,” journalist Martin Jay told RT. “Israel’s enemies would not be there in the first place if not for the US foreign policy failures.”