The chief of Iran's Quds force, Qassem Soleimani, reacting to an Israeli air strike in Syria and the crash of two Israeli drones in a Beirut suburb, tweeted on Sunday that "these were the last struggles" of Israel.
Soleimani posted pictures of himself on Twitter with the caption: "These insane operations are absolutely last struggles of the Zionist Regime" in three languages.
In a rare confirmation, Israel said it struck in Syria, thwarting a drone attack by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' elite Quds Force. A senior Revolutionary Guards commander denied on Sunday that Iranian targets had been hit in Israeli air strikes in Syria, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported.
>> Read more: Why Iran is risking a major escalation with Israel | Analysis ■ Iran wanted revenge over Iraq strike. Israel foiled it – for now | Analysis ■ How Netanyahu saved Assad, helped Russia and gave Iran the run of Syria | Opinion ■ Unhappy with Iraq strikes, U.S. outs Israel | Analysis
In addition, on Sunday, leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah denied that the Israeli attack targeted the Quds Force. "Israel did not attack a Quds Force position in Syria but rather a house containing Hezbollah fighters," Nasrallah said, adding that two Hezbollah fighters were killed in the attack. "If Israel kills any of our members in Syria... we will respond from Lebanon... we tell Israelis on the border to beware," Nasrallah said.
The Israeli army, in turn, said that for several months it has been following Iran's plan to carry out an attack against Israel from Syrian territory. "The person behind this is [head of Iran's Quds Force] Qasem Soleimani," Israel Defense Forces' Spokesman Ronen Manelis told reporters.
According to Manelis, "the Iranians plan was to send several drones into Israel, armed with explosives, and kill Israelis. These are drones we see in action in Iraq, Syria and Yemen."
The chief of the Israeli army, Aviv Kochavi, said that Soleimani personally oversaw the operation and trained the Iranian activists who were meant to carry it out.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now