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SYRIA accused Israel of launching an air strike against army positions near the capital Damascus today just hours after the Iran nuclear deal collapsed.
It is the latest act of aggression by Israel, which has ratcheted up tensions across the region with a series of threatening statements backed by missile attacks against Syria.
At least nine pro-government soldiers, including members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, are believed to have been killed in the strike on a military base near al-Kiswah.
This month saw Israel threaten to kill Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, accusing him of allowing Iran to attack the country from Syrian territory.
Israel typically refuses to comment on its attacks on Syria.
However, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei branded last month’s attack on an air base near Damascus during which Iranian troops were killed “Israel’s crimes,” promising it “would not remain without a response.”
Tensions continued to escalate between the neighbouring countries after the belligerent Israeli military claimed to have discovered “irregular Iranian activity” in the Golan Heights — Syrian territory illegally occupied by Israel since 1967.
The Israeli government warned its citizens in the area to prepare bomb shelters, the first time such advice has been issued for decades.
“Defence systems have been deployed and IDF troops are on high alert for an attack,” military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said.
He warned "any aggressions against Israel will be met with a severe response" as the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) was reported to be calling up reservists.
Israel opposes Iranian aid to Syria, where it has provided military advice and support for Mr Assad’s government in the seven-year-long war.
And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was one of few world leaders to welcome Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Iran nuclear deal, calling it a “brave and bold decision” in a speech today.
Israel has also threatened Lebanese civilians after they handed a majority to a coalition of parties that includes the Hezbollah resistance movement.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel would make no distinction between the people of Lebanon and Hezbollah the next time Israel attacks its northern neighbour.
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