Israel Told U.S. and Russia It Will Retaliate if Iran Attacks From Syria

Officials believe Israel should strike Iran if Tehran carries out attacks against population centers through Syria or Hezbollah. Defense officials, on the other hand, caution against taking the conflict out of Syria's borders

Fire and explosions are seen in what purported to be the Mountain 47 region, countryside south of Hama city, Syria, April 29, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. Abody Ahfad Khaled /via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT. CREDIT: ABODY AHFAD KHALED
\ SOCIAL MEDIA/ REUTERS

Defense and political sources told Russia and the United States, following Iran's threats to react against attacks on their assets in Syria overnight, that if Iran attacks Israel from Syria, either itself or through its proxy Hezbollah, Jerusalem will not hold back and will respond forcefully, targeting Iranian soil.

>> Strike likely targeted surface-to-surface missiles Iran seeks to deploy in Syria

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will issue a statement Monday at 8 PM on a significant development regarding the nuclear agreement with Iran. Netanyahu said he will give a speech tonight to reveal "new intelligence information on Iran," information officials said he has shared with U.S. President Donald Trump.

The comments come amid Iran's threats to react against attacks on their assets in Syria, allegedly by Israel. According to the Israeli officials, Israel will attack broadly, aiming to significantly damage Iranian interests in Syria. The main target would be bases where Iranian forces have been located since the Syrian civil war began. These bases serve as conduits to transfer weapons and gear up for further Iranian establishment in Syria.

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In recent weeks, Israeli political and military circles have been deliberating how to respond if Iran reacts to the raids ascribed to Israel. Officials say that if Iran hits population centers inside Israel, even if it does so through Syria or with the assistance of Hezbollah or other militias, the response should be on Iranian soil.

Alleged Israeli strikes in Syria

>> What happens if Trump pulls out of the Iran nuclear deal? ■ Strike likely targeted surface-to-surface missiles Iran seeks to deploy in Syria

Conversely, military sources opine that the reaction should be confined to Syria, while causing damage to Iranian interests, arguing it would not be right to widen the conflict to encompass Iran directly.

Despite the tension, the Israel Defense Forces continues to operate according to the existing policy regarding fighting in Syria, under which convoys transporting arms to Hezbollah will continue to be attacked and efforts to thwart Iran's bid to establish itself in Syria will continue.

On the other hand, defense officials fear Moscow is less understanding towards Israel than it was in the past. Russia's statements on its plans to transfer advanced air defense systems to Syria and Lebanon allow the possibility that Israel would attack Assad's regime in response. For the time being, these ideas do not have enough support, due to fear of the Russian response.