The Israeli military said Thursday it hit almost all of Iran's military installations in Syria in response to the overnight Iranian rocket barrage that targeted Israeli front-line military positions in the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
Dozens of rockets were fired from Syria on the Israeli-occupied Golan overnight, a war monitor said, without confirming Israeli reports they were fired by Iranian forces.
In the wake of Donald Trump's withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, the Iranians want to show the rest of the world, and particularly the Europeans, that they are the reliable and pacific upholders of the 2015 treaty.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened with further action in Syria, warning that the Israeli military will attack any nation targeting his country including preemptive strikes.
In addition to the strikes on the Iranian targets, the army also targeted multiple Syrian air defense systems. "But we did say after the (Western) strikes (on Syria) that of course Russian Federation reserved the right to do anything it considered necessary".
The Israeli military said its airstrikes focused on intelligence sites, weapons storage and logistics centers, and that the jets also destroyed several Syrian air defense systems.
Israel has called on the U.N. Security Council and secretary-general to condemn Iran's attack on its positions in the Golan Heights, occupied and annexed by Israel.
In February, Israel shot down what it said was an armed Iranian drone that entered Israeli airspace.
Israel struck back at Iranian targets in Syria in response to the rocket fire, but still Iran wouldn't admit it was responsible for the rocket attacks.
Russia, Iran, and Turkey regularly meet to discuss the regulation of the Syrian war, where the three countries have positioned themselves as major players.
Israel struck back with its heaviest air strikes in Syria since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, saying it had attacked almost all of Iran's military infrastructure.
It will be a war mainly with missiles from Iran and Hezbollah versus Israel's air force. One key point here is to understand the U.S.is not playing the role it might have played traditionally where we would've been acting with the Russians to get the Russians to contain the Iranians.
Israel might attack airports in Lebanon, Syria and even Iraq to prevent the movement of Iranian troops and equipment.
Israeli missiles were fired late on Tuesday at a target outside the capital, Damascus, Syria's state-run Sana news service said.
A prominent Iranian cleric on Friday threatened two Israeli cities with destruction if the Jewish state "acts foolishly" and attacks its interests again, while thousands of protesters demonstrated against President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal with world powers.
There has been no official declaration by the Iranian government that it was responsible for the attack on the Golan Heights, nor any acknowledgment that Iran's military presence in Syria was impacted by the Israeli strikes.