Following a threat from an Iranian general to destroy Israel, the IDF targeted a position of the Syrian army, a client of Iran, after spillover fire landed in Israel, The Times of Israel reported Monday.
According to the IDF, a mortar landed near Israel’s border fence with Syria following a skirmish between the Syrian army and rebel groups in the area. Israel then targeted a Syrian artillery cannon which was in the general area where the mortar was fired from.
A statement from the IDF said, “The IDF sees the Syrian regime as responsible for every action in its territory and will not tolerate violations of the sovereignty of the State of Israel and the security of its citizens.”
The latest limited clash between Israel and Syria comes in the wake of a threat against Israel by Iran, the patron of Syria’s ruler Bashar al-Assad.
On Saturday, Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi, commander of Iran’s army, threatened that Iran’s regular army and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) would combine to “annihilate” Israel within 25 years, Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency reported.
“When the arrogant powers create a sanctuary for the Zionist regime to continue survival, we shouldn’t allow one day to be added to the ominous and illegitimate life of this regime,” Mousavi said while addressing a ceremony in Tehran.
Though he echoed a prediction about Israel’s destruction articulated by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s first in 2015 and reiterated in 2016, Mousavi explained that Iran’s military will continuously be working towards that goal until then. “The Army will move hand in hand with the IRGC so that the arrogant system will collapse and the Zionist regime will be annihilated,” he added.
On Friday, IRGC Lieutenant Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami made similar comments, threatening that if war broke out between Israel and Iran, “you can be assured that it will result in wiping you off, the smallest target is your existence, there is no smaller target than that.”
Salami’s language closely mirrors a threat that Israel “must be wiped off the earth,” which was written on a ballistic missile that Iran tested two years ago.
Iran has ratcheted up its rhetoric against Israel since an airstrike against an airbase in Syria, where Iran had personnel and advanced weapons. Seven Iranian military personnel were killed in the airstrike, which has been attributed to Israel. One, an IRGC colonel, was reportedly in charge of Iran’s drone program. In February, a drone launched from the airbase, known as T-4, penetrated Israeli airspace, before being shot down. Last week, Israel announced that the drone was loaded with explosives and was meant to carry out an attack on Israeli soil.
[Photo: Israel Defense Forces / Flickr]