Israel will block ‘Iranian aggression’ after Syria strikes

Missiles flying into the sky near international airport, in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (SANA via AP)
Updated 21 January 2019

Israel will block ‘Iranian aggression’ after Syria strikes

  • Netanyahu said Israel’s air strikes on Syria had mainly targeted military positions set up by Iran
  • The chain of events sparked concerns of an escalation

RAMON AIRPORT, Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday Israel would not allow “Iranian aggression,” after its military struck what it called Iranian targets in Syria in response to missile fire.
“Yesterday evening, the air force struck a strong blow against Iranian targets in Syria after Iran fired a missile from there toward Israel,” Netanyahu said at an inauguration ceremony for a new airport in southern Israel.
“We do not allow such acts of aggression to pass by. We are acting against Iran and against the Syrian forces who are tools of Iranian aggression.”
Israel struck what it said were facilities belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force early Monday in response to a missile attack it blamed on Iran.
The surface-to-surface missile, fired toward the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Sunday and intercepted by air defenses, followed an alleged Israeli strike in southern Syria.
The chain of events sparked concerns of an escalation, after a monitor reported 11 fighters killed in the overnight Israeli strikes.
Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria against what it says are Iranian military targets and advanced arms deliveries to Tehran-backed Hezbollah.
It rarely publicly confirms them, though has in recent days spoken about the raids more openly.
Israel has pledged to keep arch-foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in neighboring Syria.


Bahrain to join US-led efforts to protect Gulf navigation

Updated 14 min 4 sec ago

Bahrain to join US-led efforts to protect Gulf navigation

  • Bahrain’s King Hamad voiced his appreciation of the US role in supporting 'regional security and stability'
  • US is seeking coalition to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Gulf

DUBAI: Bahrain said Monday it would join US-led efforts to protect shipping in the Arabian Gulf amid tensions between Washington and Tehran after a series of attacks on tankers.
Bahrain’s King Hamad voiced his country’s appreciation of the “US role in supporting regional security and stability” during a meeting with US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief General Kenneth McKenzie, state media said.
“The king confirmed the kingdom of Bahrain’s participation in the joint effort to preserve the safety of international maritime navigation and secure international corridors for trade and energy,” the official Bahrain News Agency reported.
The US has been seeking to form a coalition to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Gulf.
Britain, which already has warships on protection duty in the Gulf after a UK-flagged tanker was seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guards, has said it will join the planned operation.
But other European countries have declined to join, for fear of harming European efforts to rescue a 2015 treaty with Iran over its nuclear program.
Bahrain, which hosts the US Fifth Fleet, said last month that it would co-host a conference with the US on “maritime and air navigation security,” set for October.
Iran has seized three tankers in strategic Gulf waters since last month, including a British-flagged vessel.
That came after British Royal Marines helped impound a tanker carrying Iranian oil off the British overseas territory of Gibraltar on July 4.
Britain suspected it was destined for Syria in defiance of European Union sanctions, which Iran denies.
The US and its Gulf allies have also accused the Islamic republic of carrying out several mysterious attacks on ships in the region, which Tehran denies.