Friction in North Not Over After Extensive Syria Strikes, Israeli Defense Minister Warns

Avigdor Lieberman says military remains alter after Israeli attack in Syria, calls on Assad to expel Iranian forces

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman gestures as he speaks during the Herzliya Conference, in Herzliya, Israel, May 10, 2018.
\ NIR ELIAS/ REUTERS

The tense security situation in the Golan Heights is likely to continue after Israel's large-scale attack in Syria, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Friday on a visit to the Golan Heights town of Katzrin.

"There was an incident and I don't think that it will be the end of all the problems and all the tension and friction," Lieberman said, referring to Israel's most large-scale attack in Syria in decades that followed a barrage of missiles aimed at army outposts in Israel's north.

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"I don't think it's all over," he said. "But we certainly have our finger on the pulse and are exercising judgment, responsibility and determination."

Lieberman warned that "there's no room here for euphoria" in the wake of Israel's attacks, which he previously said struck ''almost all of the Iranian infrastructure in Syria."

The defense minister further said he wanted to "take advantage of the opportunity to send a message to Assad - get rid of the Iranians, get rid of Qassem Soleimani and the Quds Force." 

On Wednesday night, Israel attacked dozens of Iranian targets in Syria in what the military said was the most extensive strike in the neighboring country in decades. The strike was carried out in response to a barrage of 20 rockets that were fired from Syria at Israeli military outposts.

The Israeli military accused the Revolutionary Guards' Al Quds force and its commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, of launching the attack at the Israeli Golan Heights. This is the first time Israel has directly accused Iran of firing toward Israeli territory.