Are Israel and Iran inching closer to war?

Sunday, 13 May, 2018

On possible escalation into a full-fledged war, Ihsan said no one wants an open regional war, but what is happening is an attempt by the USA and Israel to contain the Iranian regional influence, particularly in Syria and this "tussle started when the US withdrew from the nuclear deal". At least 15 people were killed in the strike, including eight Iranians, according to the Observatory.

The Syrian military already had "everything it needed", Kozhin added.

An Iranian rocket barrage on Israeli positions in the Golan Heights prompted an Israel attack Thursday on Iranian targets in Syria.

A hard-line Iranian cleric threatened his country would retaliate if Israel "does anything foolish". [Israel's] attacks on Syria.

Another reason for the change is the fact that Iran is now isolated from the world in everything related to Syria, and the worldwide community's support for the Israeli airstrikes in the Arab country further stressed Iran's isolation. "Syria has every right to defend itself", state TV reported foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying. "He has shown that there is nobody to match him in the diplomatic-security field", Israel Radio political analyst Hanan Kristal said.

Under Trump, the U.S. approach moves away from multilateral diplomacy encouraging instead the "use of force or the threat of it", in the region, notably from Israel.

In the meantime, a member of the Iranian parliament's commission on security and foreign policy, Abolfazl Hassan Beigi, emphasized that Tehran does not maintain a military presence in Syria.

Iran sent massive military help to its ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, to rescue his rule against armed rebellion during that country's 7-year-old civil war. Israel considers the government in Iran an existential threat.

He said: "We will not allow Iran to entrench itself in Syria. However, if the Syrian military acts against us, we will act against it".

A crew member of USA aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman reacts after the takeoff of an F18 Hornet fighter jet from the flight deck of the ship in the eastern Mediterranean Sea on May 8, 2018.

What exactly happened on Thursday? It was the most serious military confrontation between the two rivals to date.

The Golan Heights is a rocky plateau in south-western Syria, about 50km from the capital Damascus. Israel has warned it will not tolerate its archenemy Iran establishing a military presence on its doorstep.

What's behind the latest military action?

Iran should tread a fragile line because it seeks to indicate resolve towards US President Donald Trump and the Israeli strikes with out alienating the European companions it must salvage one thing from the nuclear deal.

Soleimani is the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's elite Al-Quds expeditionary force, which is fighting in both Iraq and Syria.

They included one on an airbase in April that killed seven Iranian troops. "Obviously we need the only country that can unilaterally destroy this agreement to stay committed, which is Iran".

Le Maire proposed creating a European body that would have the same kind of powers that the U.S. Justice Department has to punish foreign companies for their trade practices.

"For now, we're not talking about any deliveries of new modern (air defense) systems", Izvestia cited Kozhin as saying when asked about the possibility of supplying Syria with S-300s.