Iran's 'Toy'? Israeli Defense Chief Draws Inspiration From Eurovision Win in Warning to Assad

The defense minister's tweet follows Israel's win at the song contest with the feminist anthem 'Toy' by Netta Barzilai

People celebrate the winning of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 by Israel's Netta Barzilai with her song "Toy," at Rabin square in Tel Aviv, May 13, 2018.
Corinna Kern/Reuters

Escalating tensions between Israel and Iran took an unexpected turn on Sunday when the Defense Minister issued a Eurovision-themed warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"Assad, learn from what is going on today. Tell [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei that you are not his toy. He has no business in Syria," Avigdor Lieberman tweeted, following Israel's win at the contest with the feminist anthem "Toy" by Netta Barzilai.

Israel has repeatedly signaled alarm over Iran's presence in Syria, saying Iran is attempting to establish a permanent military presence in Syria to attack Israel as the civil war there winds down. 

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On Thursday, Israel said the Iranian Quds Force shot 20 rockets into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, and in response the Israel Air Force targeted dozens of targets in Syria. 

Eurovision 2018 Grande Finale

>> Iran's 'first-ever' attack on Israel and Israel's most extensive Syria strike in decades: What we know and what happens next | Explained ■ Who Is Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force that attacked Israel

It was the most severe flare-up between Israel and Iran over Tehran's actions in Syria.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 11 Iranians were killed in the Israeli strikes.