World Bulletin / News Desk
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Washington condemns Iran's attacks, which she said targeted Israeli citizens, and voiced 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," Sanders said in a statement.
"Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) bears full responsibility for the consequences of its reckless actions, and we call on the IRGC and its militant proxies, including Hizballah, to take no further provocative steps," she said.
The Israeli army claimed Iranian forces in Syria had fired 20 rockets into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, but that all had been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system during clashes overnight Wednesday.
In a separate statement, the Israeli army claimed its fighter jets had struck some 50 military targets associated with Iran’s Quds Force inside Syrian territory.
The strikes, it alleged, had come in response to “rockets fired by the Quds Force [from Syrian territory] at IDF forward posts in the Golan Heights”.
According to Israeli army spokesman Ronen Manelis, last night’s strikes “significantly damaged Quds Force and [Iranian] Revolutionary Guard targets throughout Syria”.
“Iranian forces will need months to recover from the strikes,” Manelis told Israeli army radio.
The spokesman went on to describe the strikes as “one of the largest” air attacks by the Israeli Air Force in recent years.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the strikes, saying 28 Israeli F-15 and F-16 warplanes had fired 60 missiles at Iranian troop concentrations and air-defense systems inside Syria.
Tehran, for its part, has yet to officially react to the strikes.
But Abolfazl Hassan Beige, a member of Iran's parliamentary national security committee, accused Israel of “lying” about the strikes, denying any Iranian involvement in Wednesday’s alleged missile attack in the Golan Heights.
In April, Israel struck the T-4 airbase in Syria’s western Homs province, reportedly killing a number of Iranian army officers, sparking fears of possible reprisal by Iran.