Israel has today released footage of the moment one of its missiles destroyed an Iranian rocker launcher in Syria in retaliation for Tehran forces shelling the Golan Heights hours earlier.

The video was revealed as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Iran had ‘crossed a red line’ by firing 20 rockets across the border early on Thursday.

The 20-second clip shows a missile mounted with a camera hurtling towards the SA22 aerial interception system as soldiers stood just yards away – unaware of the impending impact. 

A SA22 aerial interception system, also known as Pantsir-S1, is a Russian-made truck-mounted short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapons system.  

Israel said it had attacked nearly all of Iran’s military infrastructure in Syria, destroying dozens of sites, in an operation dubbed ‘House of Cards’ after Iranian forces fired rockets at Israeli-held territory for the first time. 

The targets of the strikes, Israel’s largest in Syria since the 1973 war, included weapons storage, logistics sites and intelligence centers used by elite Iranian forces in Syria. 

Netanyahu said his country’s strikes on Iranian targets in war-torn Syria were an ‘appropriate’ response after the Islamic Republic ‘crossed a red line’ by striking military positions. 

‘We are in the midst of a protracted battle and our policy is clear: We will not allow Iran to entrench itself militarily in Syria,’ Netanyahu said. 

Later, in a statement issued as Israel’s security cabinet was meeting, Netanyahu said the strike on Iran’s military installations inside Syria sent a ‘clear message’ to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad not to attack Israel.

Netanyahu warned ‘whoever attacks us – we will attack them sevenfold and whoever prepares to attack us – we will act against them first.’ 

A video shows Israeli missiles destroying Iranian military targets in Syria after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tehran that they'd 'crossed a red line' when they fired at the Golan Heights

A video shows Israeli missiles destroying Iranian military targets in Syria after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tehran that they'd 'crossed a red line' when they fired at the Golan Heights

A video shows Israeli missiles destroying Iranian military targets in Syria after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tehran that they’d ‘crossed a red line’ when they fired at the Golan Heights

He said that ‘we are in a continuous campaign’ and that ‘Israel’s military had carried out very extensive strike against Iranian targets’ in Syria. Netanyahu said Syrian batteries fired at Israeli forces ‘and therefore we struck them.’ 

Alongside the video of the strike, the IDF wrote that they ‘struck an SA22 aerial interception system as part of a wide-scale attack against Iranian military sites in Syria.’

It added: ‘The IDF strikes were a response to the rockets that were launched by the Iranian Quds Forces against IDF positions on the Golan Heights & the Syrian aerial defense fire at IAF aircraft.’

The military said previously it targeted a number of Syrian air defense systems – the SA22 as well as  SA5, SA2, SA17 batteries – which had fired at Israeli planes, according to the Times of Israel.  

It comes after Iran and Israel traded blows on the Syrian border overnight, marking the first time Tehran has directly attacked Israel. 

Iranian forces fired 20 rockets across the border at Israeli frontline military positions early on Thursday, the Israeli military said. 

The Israeli military said its Iron Dome defence system intercepted some of the incoming projectiles, while others caused only minimal damage. 

The 20-second clip shows a missile mounted with a camera hurtling towards the SA22 aerial interception system as soldiers (pictured top left) stood just yards away - unaware of the impending impact

The 20-second clip shows a missile mounted with a camera hurtling towards the SA22 aerial interception system as soldiers (pictured top left) stood just yards away - unaware of the impending impact

The 20-second clip shows a missile mounted with a camera hurtling towards the SA22 aerial interception system as soldiers (pictured top left) stood just yards away – unaware of the impending impact

A SA22 aerial interception system (pictured), also known as Pantsir-S1, is a Russian-made combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-artillery weapon system

A SA22 aerial interception system (pictured), also known as Pantsir-S1, is a Russian-made combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-artillery weapon system

A SA22 aerial interception system (pictured), also known as Pantsir-S1, is a Russian-made combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-artillery weapon system

Lebanese soldiers inspect the remains of a surface to air missile that landed in the southern Lebanese village of Hebarieh on Thursday

Lebanese soldiers inspect the remains of a surface to air missile that landed in the southern Lebanese village of Hebarieh on Thursday

Lebanese soldiers inspect the remains of a surface to air missile that landed in the southern Lebanese village of Hebarieh on Thursday

Cows are seen alongside Israeli Soldiers and Merkava tanks deployed near the Israeli-Syrian border on Thursday

Cows are seen alongside Israeli Soldiers and Merkava tanks deployed near the Israeli-Syrian border on Thursday

Cows are seen alongside Israeli Soldiers and Merkava tanks deployed near the Israeli-Syrian border on Thursday

Israeli soldiers were deployed near the Syrian border in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights as Israel carried out widespread raids against Iranian targets in Syria

Israeli soldiers were deployed near the Syrian border in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights as Israel carried out widespread raids against Iranian targets in Syria

Israeli soldiers were deployed near the Syrian border in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights as Israel carried out widespread raids against Iranian targets in Syria

Israel carried out the raids after it said around 20 rockets were fired from Syria at its forces in the occupied Golan Heights at around midnight. Pictured, cows graze near Merkava tanks in Golan Heights

Israel carried out the raids after it said around 20 rockets were fired from Syria at its forces in the occupied Golan Heights at around midnight. Pictured, cows graze near Merkava tanks in Golan Heights

Israel carried out the raids after it said around 20 rockets were fired from Syria at its forces in the occupied Golan Heights at around midnight. Pictured, cows graze near Merkava tanks in Golan Heights

An Israeli soldier stands next to signs pointing out distances to different cities, on Mount Bental, an observation post in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Thursday

An Israeli soldier stands next to signs pointing out distances to different cities, on Mount Bental, an observation post in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Thursday

An Israeli soldier stands next to signs pointing out distances to different cities, on Mount Bental, an observation post in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Thursday

Israeli Merkava tanks are deployed in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights near the Israeli-Syrian border on Thursday

Israeli Merkava tanks are deployed in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights near the Israeli-Syrian border on Thursday

Israeli Merkava tanks are deployed in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights near the Israeli-Syrian border on Thursday

The attack was followed by retaliatory strikes by Israeli jets, which struck ‘dozens’ of Iranian military installations within Syria. They struck a radar station, air defence positions and an ammunition dump, Syrian state media said.

Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman said the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) had ‘hit almost all of the Iranian infrastructure in Syria’.

HOW SA-22 GREYHOUND ANTI-AIRCRAFT VEHICLE CAN DOWN 12 TARGETS EVERY MINUTE

A Pantsir-S1 is a Russian-made anti-aircraft system that is also known by its NATO code name: SA-22 Greyhound.

It’s a truck-mounted short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapons system that has been in active service since 2003.

The vehicles, which combine the use of both guns and missiles, are designed to shoot down aircraft, helicopters, precision munitions, cruise missiles and drones. 

 The eight-wheel trucks carry 12 57E6 surface-to-air guided missiles and two automatic guns developed from the two-barreled 30mm GSh-30 gun.

A Russian Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft defence system

A Russian Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft defence system

A Russian Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft defence system

The Pantsir-S1 can fire at two targets at the same time and attack up to 12 targets within a minute. Its missiles have a maximum range of just over 11 miles.

Russia has sold the systems to countries including Iran, Iraq and Jordan.

Syria is known to have a mixture of Russian-made anti-aircraft systems, including the Pantsir S-1 and the Buk M2 surface-to-air missile system. 

The Pantsir-S1 has been fired in Syria a number of times to take out drones and missiles. 

The first known combat use of the Pantsir-S1 was by the Syrian Army when a system tracked and downed a Turkish aircraft in June 2012.

But he insisted Israel had ‘no interest in escalation’ of the situation, adding: ‘I hope that we have finished this chapter and that everyone got the message.’

Meanwhile, France and Germany on Thursday urged Israel and Iran to exercise restraint and avoid further escalation of hostilities in the Middle East after the heaviest military exchange ever between the two regional adversaries. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the Iranian rocket attacks and Israel’s response in Aachen, western Germany, and called for prudence and de-escalation.

‘The escalations of the past few hours show us that it is truly about war and peace. And I can only call on all sides to exercise restraint here,’ Merkel said during a ceremony awarding Macron the Charlemagne Prize for strengthening EU integration.   

Britain also condemned a rocket attack on the occupied Golan Heights by Iranian forces based in Syria, and said Israel has every right to defend itself. 

Downing Street called for calm on both sides and urged Tehran to refrain from further assaults. Number 10 also urged Russia to use its influence in Syria to rein in Iranian aggression.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman said: ‘We condemn Iran’s attack on Israel. Israel has every right to defend itself.

‘We call on Iran to refrain from any further attacks and for calm on all sides. We call on Russia to use its influence in Syria to prevent further Iranian attacks.’

The White House also condemned Iran’s ‘provocative rocket attacks from Syria against Israeli citizens’ and expressed strong support for ‘Israel’s right to act in self-defense.’ 

‘The Iranian regime’s deployment into Syria of offensive rocket and missile systems aimed at Israel is an unacceptable and highly dangerous development for the entire Middle East,’ Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. 

Syrian air defense missiles are seen in the sky over Damascus, Syria. According to Syrian official media reports, the air defense was responding to a new wave of Israeli missile strikes

Syrian air defense missiles are seen in the sky over Damascus, Syria. According to Syrian official media reports, the air defense was responding to a new wave of Israeli missile strikes

Syrian air defense missiles are seen in the sky over Damascus, Syria. According to Syrian official media reports, the air defense was responding to a new wave of Israeli missile strikes

Israel said Iranian forces had fired 20 artillery rockets at their military bases in the disputed Golan Heights and that their Iron Dome defence system had intercepted a number of them

Israel said Iranian forces had fired 20 artillery rockets at their military bases in the disputed Golan Heights and that their Iron Dome defence system had intercepted a number of them

Israel said Iranian forces had fired 20 artillery rockets at their military bases in the disputed Golan Heights and that their Iron Dome defence system had intercepted a number of them

An image released by the government-affiliated "Central War Media" in Syria purportedly shows Syrian air defence systems intercepting Israeli missiles over Damascus' airspace

An image released by the government-affiliated "Central War Media" in Syria purportedly shows Syrian air defence systems intercepting Israeli missiles over Damascus' airspace

An image released by the government-affiliated ‘Central War Media’ in Syria purportedly shows Syrian air defence systems intercepting Israeli missiles over Damascus’ airspace

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured in Moscow on Wednesday) said his country's strikes on Iranian targets in war-torn Syria were an 'appropriate' response after the Islamic Republic 'crossed a red line' by striking military positions

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured in Moscow on Wednesday) said his country's strikes on Iranian targets in war-torn Syria were an 'appropriate' response after the Islamic Republic 'crossed a red line' by striking military positions

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured in Moscow on Wednesday) said his country’s strikes on Iranian targets in war-torn Syria were an ‘appropriate’ response after the Islamic Republic ‘crossed a red line’ by striking military positions

UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Israeli strikes killed at least 23 military personnel, including Syrians and non-Syrians.

Israel said the Iranian rockets were either shot down by its Iron Dome air defence system or fell short of the Golan targets, claiming the Quds Force, an external arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, carried out the launch. 

The exchange of fire came less than a day after US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which lifts sanctions on Tehran in exchange for a halt on its nuclear program.  

Merkel has scrambled to try to preserve the nuclear accord with Iran following Trump’s announcement that the United States would be withdrawing from the accord.

In a call with Hassan Rouhani, Merkel called for talks to be held in a broader format on Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its regional activities – including in Syria and Yemen, her office said in a statement. 

Israeli Merkava tanks are deployed near the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights today after some 20 rockets were fired at Israeli military bases by Iranian forces from southern Syria just after midnight

Israeli Merkava tanks are deployed near the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights today after some 20 rockets were fired at Israeli military bases by Iranian forces from southern Syria just after midnight

Israeli Merkava tanks are deployed near the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights today after some 20 rockets were fired at Israeli military bases by Iranian forces from southern Syria just after midnight

Firing back: This photo supplied by Syrian state media allegedly shows Israeli missiles hittin air defense position and other military bases, in Damascus, Syria

Firing back: This photo supplied by Syrian state media allegedly shows Israeli missiles hittin air defense position and other military bases, in Damascus, Syria

Firing back: This photo supplied by Syrian state media allegedly shows Israeli missiles hittin air defense position and other military bases, in Damascus, Syria

The Israeli Iron Dome defense system is seen above on the Golan Heights attempting to intercept suspected Iranian missiles being launched from Syria

The Israeli Iron Dome defense system is seen above on the Golan Heights attempting to intercept suspected Iranian missiles being launched from Syria

The Israeli Iron Dome defense system is seen above on the Golan Heights attempting to intercept suspected Iranian missiles being launched from Syria

The project was given a bigger boost when the Obama administration sought and received hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding

The project was given a bigger boost when the Obama administration sought and received hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding

The project was given a bigger boost when the Obama administration sought and received hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding

The latest strikes were the heaviest Israeli barrage in Syria since the start in 2011 of its civil war, in which Iranians, allied Shi’ite militias and Russian soldiers have deployed in support of President Bashar al-Assad. 

‘We hit nearly all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria,’ Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman told a security conference on Thursday morning.

‘They need to remember the saying that if it rains on us, it’ll storm on them. I hope we’ve finished this episode and everyone understood.’

An IDF spokesperson said Iran’s Quds force fired the rockets at several Israeli bases, though would reveal how Israel determined the Iranian involvement.

If Israeli claims are true, it would be the first time Iranian troops have directly attacked Israel rather than using proxies such as Islamist militant group Hezbollah.  

Trading blows: Iranian forces reportedly fired 20 rockets on the Golan Heights, to which Israel responded with dozens of strikes on Iranian positions in Syria

Trading blows: Iranian forces reportedly fired 20 rockets on the Golan Heights, to which Israel responded with dozens of strikes on Iranian positions in Syria

Trading blows: Iranian forces reportedly fired 20 rockets on the Golan Heights, to which Israel responded with dozens of strikes on Iranian positions in Syria

This frame grab from video provided on Wednesday by Syria News shows people standing in front of flames rising after an attack on an area known to have numerous Syrian army military bases in Kisweh, south of Damascus

This frame grab from video provided on Wednesday by Syria News shows people standing in front of flames rising after an attack on an area known to have numerous Syrian army military bases in Kisweh, south of Damascus

This frame grab from video provided on Wednesday by Syria News shows people standing in front of flames rising after an attack on an area known to have numerous Syrian army military bases in Kisweh, south of Damascus

The incoming attack set off air raid sirens in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, which was captured from Syria in the 1967 war.

People in Metula, a town in northern Israel, were reportedly asked to enter ‘secure areas’ following an explosion in the area.

While the IDF blames Iran for firing the initial barrage of rockets into the Golan Heights, Syrian media claims Israel fired first. 

US LEAVING  IRAN DEAL COULD SEE SPIKE IN OIL PRICES

The United States’ immediate reinstating of sanctions on Iran, could lead to a global spike in the price of oil.

Oil prices are already at their highest level since November 2014 and as Iran is the world’s fifth biggest oil producer, any new sanctions is likely to affect the market.

However, U.S.-ally Saudi Arabia has said to will help meet the oil demands if Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran deal would create any shortfalls.

Israel’s response saw war planes targeting Iranian positions inside Syria, according to an IDF spokesman. 

Targets included the Mezzeh airbase in Damascus, according to Israeli media. More than 30 Israeli missiles have reportedly struck targets near the city, with the Russian military claiming 70 were fired – and half of them downed.   

Russia’s defence ministry said: ’28 Israeli F-15 and F-16 aircraft were used in the attack, which released around 60 air-to-ground missiles over various parts of Syria. Israel also fired more than 10 tactical ground-to-ground missiles.’

Russia said Syria’s air defence systems shot down more than half of the missiles, while the extent of the damage was still being assessed.

‘The locations of Iranian armed groups and also the positions of the Syrian army’s air defences in the area around Damascus and in the south of Syria were attacked,’ the ministry said.  

Syria’s state media said Syrian air defenses had intercepted ‘hostile Israeli missiles’ early Thursday that were fired over southwestern Damascus.

‘Air defenses confronted tens of Israeli rockets and some of them reached their target and destroyed one of the radar sites,’ Syrian state news agency SANA reported, citing a military source.  Another rocket hit an ammunition warehouse, it said. 

Syrian state television was broadcasting footage of its air defenses firing at incoming rockets, and playing patriotic songs.

Long-exposure photographs showed Israeli artillery launched to intercept projectiles fired from Syria early today

Long-exposure photographs showed Israeli artillery launched to intercept projectiles fired from Syria early today

Long-exposure photographs showed Israeli artillery launched to intercept projectiles fired from Syria early today

THE GOLAN HEIGHTS: SYRIAN TERRITORY ANNEXED BY ISRAEL

The Golan Heights form a strategic plateau between Israel and Syria of about 460 square miles. 

Israel captured it in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in 1981 in a move not recognized internationally.

About 18,000 Israeli settlers have moved to the Golan, which also borders Jordan, since 1967. 

Some 20,000 Druze Muslims also live there. Israel gave the Druze the option of citizenship though most rejected it. 

Syria tried to regain the Golan Heights in the 1973 Middle East war, but the assault was thwarted. 

The two signed an armistice in 1974 and the Golan has been relatively quiet until recently.

The Golan contains important water sources and has further strategic value because it overlooks northeastern Israel including the Sea of Galilee, a tourist attraction and Israel’s biggest reservoir. 

In 2000, Israel and Syria held their highest-level talks over a possible return of the Golan and a peace agreement. 

But the negotiations collapsed.

Source: Reuters 

It said Israeli warplanes were firing the rockets from outside Syria’s borders and targeting Baath City in Quneitra province. 

Earlier, Syrian media said the hostilities began with Israeli fire at Syrian positions in the country’s south from across the border.  Pro-Syrian media said Syrian missiles then fired at Israeli forces. 

One TV station, Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen, said at least 50 missiles were fired from Syria at Israeli forces in the occupied Golan Heights. 

It was the first time in years that Syrians had fired at Israeli forces in Golan, Syrian media reported. 

The news that Israel and Iran had exchanged fire saw several world leaders call for de-escalation in the area, amid concern about growing military tensions between the two nations. 

This morning, France’s President Emmanuel Macron was first to call for de-escalation, and will be meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later today to discuss the Middle East.

This was echoed by Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who said: ‘This is all very alarming, it causes concern. There should be work to de-escalate the tensions,’  

An air defense missile is seen over Daraa, Syria on Thursday. Daraa is very near the southwestern border with Jordan and not far from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights

An air defense missile is seen over Daraa, Syria on Thursday. Daraa is very near the southwestern border with Jordan and not far from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights

An air defense missile is seen over Daraa, Syria on Thursday. Daraa is very near the southwestern border with Jordan and not far from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights

Anti-aircraft missiles are seen from the Syrian capital of Damascus before dawn on Thursday

Anti-aircraft missiles are seen from the Syrian capital of Damascus before dawn on Thursday

Anti-aircraft missiles are seen from the Syrian capital of Damascus before dawn on Thursday

The above image shows more Syrian air defense missiles as seen in the sky over the capital Damascus on Thursday

The above image shows more Syrian air defense missiles as seen in the sky over the capital Damascus on Thursday

The above image shows more Syrian air defense missiles as seen in the sky over the capital Damascus on Thursday

Syria's state media said Syrian air defenses had intercepted 'hostile Israeli missiles' early Thursday that were fired over southwestern Damascus

Syria's state media said Syrian air defenses had intercepted 'hostile Israeli missiles' early Thursday that were fired over southwestern Damascus

Syria’s state media said Syrian air defenses had intercepted ‘hostile Israeli missiles’ early Thursday that were fired over southwestern Damascus

Israel has been on heightened alert in recent days, anticipating an attack from Iran following the Iranian regime’s vows to retaliate to what it says are recent Israeli strikes in Syria targeting Iranian outposts.

Late on Tuesday, Syrian state media said Israel struck a military outpost near the capital of Damascus. 

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the missiles targeted depots and rocket launchers that likely belonged to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard.

Last month, an attack on Syria’s T4 air base in Homs province killed seven Iranian military personnel. 

On April 30, Israel was said to have struck government outposts in northern Syria, killing more than a dozen pro-government fighters, many of them Iranians.

SOHR said the attacks killed 23 fighters, including five Syrian soldiers.

The head of the Observatory, Rami Abdurrahman, said five Syrian soldiers, including two officers, and 18 militia fighters were killed. Abdurrahman says it is not immediately clear if he believed Iranians were among those killed. 

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied most of the airstrikes. 

But for months, it has repeatedly said it will not accept a permanent Iranian military presence in Syria. 

Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov today called for ‘restraint on all sides’, adding that Moscow was ‘concerned’ at the development.

The strikes came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country has provided massive military and diplomatic backing to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s seven-year civil war.

At the meeting Putin also expressed ‘deep concern’ over Trump’s decision to withdraw from a key 2015 Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, a decision Netanyahu supported.

On Wednesday the Russian leader called the situation in the Middle East ‘unfortunately very acute’.

Netanyahu had told Putin that ‘it is the right of every state, certainly the right of Israel, to take the necessary steps in order to protect itself from (Iranian) aggression)’, his office said in a statement Wednesday, referring to Iran’s presence in Syria. 

An Israeli Iron dome system is seen deployed near the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights

An Israeli Iron dome system is seen deployed near the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights

An Israeli Iron dome system is seen deployed near the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights

An Iron Dome anti-missile system can be seen near the Israeli side of the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Wednesday

An Iron Dome anti-missile system can be seen near the Israeli side of the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Wednesday

An Iron Dome anti-missile system can be seen near the Israeli side of the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Wednesday

An Israeli tank can be seen near the Israeli side of the border with Syria in Golan Heights

An Israeli tank can be seen near the Israeli side of the border with Syria in Golan Heights

An Israeli tank can be seen near the Israeli side of the border with Syria in Golan Heights

The Israeli-occupied section of the Golan Heights was placed on high alert due to 'irregular activity by Iranian forces' across the demarcation line in Syria

The Israeli-occupied section of the Golan Heights was placed on high alert due to 'irregular activity by Iranian forces' across the demarcation line in Syria

The Israeli-occupied section of the Golan Heights was placed on high alert due to ‘irregular activity by Iranian forces’ across the demarcation line in Syria

An Israeli artillery unit takes position near the Syrian border in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights

An Israeli artillery unit takes position near the Syrian border in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights

An Israeli artillery unit takes position near the Syrian border in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights

Israeli soldiers stand on top of their Merkava tanks deployed near the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights

Israeli soldiers stand on top of their Merkava tanks deployed near the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights

Israeli soldiers stand on top of their Merkava tanks deployed near the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights

Israel has long objected to an Iranian military presence near the Golan Heights frontier 

Israel has long objected to an Iranian military presence near the Golan Heights frontier 

Israel has long objected to an Iranian military presence near the Golan Heights frontier 

In February, Israel shot down what it said was an armed Iranian drone that entered Israeli airspace. 

Israel responded by attacking anti-aircraft positions in Syria, but an Israeli warplane was shot down during the battle.

Iranian forces moved into Syria after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011 to back the forces of President Bashar Assad.

As that war winds down, and Assad appears to be headed toward victory, Israel fears that Iran, along with tens of thousands of Iranian-backed Shiite militiamen, will carry out attacks against Israel. 

Speaking at the Herzliya Conference, an annual security gathering north of Tel Aviv, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel would response fiercely to any further Iranian actions.

‘We will not let Iran turn Syria into a forward base against Israel. This is the policy, a very, very clear policy, and we’re acting according to this policy,’ he said. 

‘We, of course, struck almost all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria, and they need to remember this arrogance of theirs. If we get rain, they’ll get a flood. I hope that we ended this chapter and that everyone understood.’  

Iranian protesters burn US flags during an anti-US gathering outside of the former American embassy in central Tehran

Iranian protesters burn US flags during an anti-US gathering outside of the former American embassy in central Tehran

Iranian protesters burn US flags during an anti-US gathering outside of the former American embassy in central Tehran

Iranians reacted angrily on Wednesday to President Trump's decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Protesters are seen above walking on the US flag in Tehran

Iranians reacted angrily on Wednesday to President Trump's decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Protesters are seen above walking on the US flag in Tehran

Iranians reacted angrily on Wednesday to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Protesters are seen above walking on the US flag in Tehran

Rules of the agreement: Behind the historic 2015 Iran nuclear deal

Rules of the agreement: Behind the historic 2015 Iran nuclear deal

Rules of the agreement: Behind the historic 2015 Iran nuclear deal

Trump withdraws from Iran deal

President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the nuclear deal with Iran, abruptly restoring harsh sanctions in the most consequential foreign policy action of his presidency.

He declared he was making the world safer, but he also deepened his isolation on the world stage and revived doubts about American credibility with a rationale that contradicted the analyses of U.S. and foreign intelligence sources. 

The 2015 agreement, which was negotiated by the Obama administration and included Germany, France and Britain, had lifted most U.S. and international economic sanctions against Iran. In exchange, Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program, making it impossible to produce a bomb and establishing rigorous inspections.

President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the nuclear deal with Iran

President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the nuclear deal with Iran

President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the nuclear deal with Iran

But Trump, a severe critic of the deal dating back to his 2016 presidential campaign, said Tuesday in a televised address from the White House that it was ‘defective at its core.’

On Wednesday,  he warned Iran against resuming its nuclear weapons program.

‘I would advise Iran not to start their nuclear program,’ Trump told reporters at the start of a Cabinet meeting when asked about the potential consequences. 

‘I would advise them very strongly. If they do there will be very severe consequence.’     

He claimed the deal ‘was going to lead to nuclear proliferation all over the Middle East’ and bragged the sanctions would be among the strongest ‘that we’ve ever put on a country.’ 

U.S. allies in Europe had tried to keep Trump in and lamented his move to abandon it. Iran’s leader ominously warned his country might ‘start enriching uranium more than before.’

The sanctions seek to punish Iran for its nuclear program by limiting its ability to sell oil or do business overseas, affecting a wide range of Iranian economic sectors and individuals. 

Iran’s government must now decide whether to follow the U.S. and withdraw or try to salvage what’s left with the Europeans. 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he was sending his foreign minister to the remaining countries but warned there was only a short time to negotiate with them.

Trump also left open the possibility of a new deal, and told reporters Wednesday: ‘We’ll make either a really good deal for the world or we’re not going to make a deal at all. He predicted Iran would choose to negotiate eventually, or face consequences.

The administration said it would re-impose sanctions on Iran immediately but allow grace periods for businesses to wind down activity. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Trump’s announcement as a ‘historic move.’

Trump said Tuesday that documents recently released by Netanyahu showed Iran had attempted to develop a nuclear bomb in the previous decade, especially before 2003. 

Although Trump gave no explicit evidence that Iran violated the deal, he said Iran had clearly lied in the past and could not be trusted. Iran has denied ever pursuing nuclear arms. 

In Iran, many are deeply concerned about how Trump’s decision could affect the already struggling economy. In Tehran, Rouhani sought to calm nerves, smiling as he appeared at a petroleum expo. He didn’t name Trump directly, but emphasized that Iran continued to seek ‘engagement with the world.’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) traveled to Moscow on Wednesday to meet with President Vladimir Putin (right) and discuss military coordination in Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) traveled to Moscow on Wednesday to meet with President Vladimir Putin (right) and discuss military coordination in Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) traveled to Moscow on Wednesday to meet with President Vladimir Putin (right) and discuss military coordination in Syria

Iran nuclear deal – what happens next?

Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal abruptly restores harsh sanctions on Iran, an any companies which trades with it, meaning major companies in the U.S. and Europe could be hurt, too.

The sanctions seek to punish Iran for its nuclear program by limiting its ability to sell oil or do business overseas, affecting a wide range of Iranian economic sectors and individuals.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that licenses held by Boeing and its European competitor Airbus to sell billions of dollars in commercial jetliners to Iran will be revoked. 

New rules: US President Donald Trump, seen here shaking hands with National Security Advisor John Bolton, will impose sanctions on Iran, and companies doing business with Iran, immediately 

New rules: US President Donald Trump, seen here shaking hands with National Security Advisor John Bolton, will impose sanctions on Iran, and companies doing business with Iran, immediately 

New rules: US President Donald Trump, seen here shaking hands with National Security Advisor John Bolton, will impose sanctions on Iran, and companies doing business with Iran, immediately 

Certain exemptions are to be negotiated, but Mnuchin refused to discuss what products might qualify.

He said the sanctions will sharply curtail sales of oil by Iran, which is currently the world’s fifth largest oil producer. 

Mnuchin said he didn’t expect oil prices to rise sharply, forecasting that other producers will step up production. 

The White House administration said it would re-impose sanctions on Iran immediately but allow grace periods for businesses to wind down activity. 

Companies and banks doing business with Iran will have to scramble to extricate themselves or run afoul of the U.S. government.  

In Iran, many are deeply concerned about how Trump’s decision could affect the already struggling economy. 

In Tehran, Rouhani sought to calm nerves, smiling as he appeared at a petroleum expo. He didn’t name Trump directly, but emphasized that Iran continued to seek ‘engagement with the world.’ 

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