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Suspected Israeli strikes hit Iran-linked targets in Syria, escalate regional tensions

Suspected Israeli strikes hit Iran-linked targets in Syria, escalate regional tensions”

"Given the nature of the target, it is likely to have been an Israeli strike", he said, adding that strikes also hit an air base in nearby Aleppo province where surface-to-surface missiles were stored. Other media outlets blamed the United States and British forces for the attacks.

He also called on Iranian officials to act wisely in response to the developments in Syria and avoid giving an excuse to Israel for creating tension between the sides in Syria.

An Israeli airplane in Syria has dropped the first nuclear bomb deployed in armed conflict since the USA dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to local reports.

The Tansim news agency cited an unnamed source as saying that reports of an attack on Iranian military bases and the deaths of Iranian personnel in Syria were "baseless".

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported that rockets struck targets in both Hama and Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 26 people were killed.

A spokesman for Israel's military said it would not comment on foreign reports.

The United States, Jordan and Assad's main ally Russian Federation have declared a ceasefire zone in southwest Syria, near the border with Israel, and on Monday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington's strategy there "remains unchanged".

Iranian forces began assisting the country in 2013, providing logistical and technical support, troop training and some combat troops to fight a ragtag collection of rebel militias which include Daesh* and al-Nusra Front*.

The strike on Hama province hit a base known as the 47th Brigade where pro-regime fighters are stationed.

A war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Sunday's attack had targeted a warehouse for rockets and killed 26 people, mostly Iranians and Iraqis.

Israeli Defense minister Avigdor Lieberman had warned on Sunday that Israel was going to "respond with great force" to any threat against its territory.

The Syrian regime, which denounced a "fresh aggression" after the strikes, meanwhile continued to flush out armed groups from the capital with more deals to transfer fighters to the country's north. At least 60 fighters were wounded and some also remain missing, according to reports. Iranians have been killed in these attacks and Tehran has now committed itself to avenge those deaths.

That raid on the Iran-operated base was widely seen as its first direct attack on Iranian assets and a worrying sign of how Syria's seven-year conflict could escalate into a wider regional war. It coincides with intense military operations south of Damascus, targeting the so-called Islamic State, al-Qaida-linked militants and other rebel groups who command separate pockets in the area.



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