Published On: Fri, Aug 30th, 2019

Iran latest: Fears of ‘unprecedented’ war in retaliation to Israeli strikes | World | News

The Benjamin Netanyahu government has confirmed it is has launched strikes in the region, with Mr Netanyahu claiming on Twitter a strike on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard near Damascus in Syria was due to the fighters targeted Israelis living in the Golan Heights. According to NBC, Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, considered a proxy of Tehran has accused Israel of striking its media centre in Beirut whilst an Iraqi Shiite paramilitary group claim Israeli drones had killed one of their fighters and injured another near the Syria border. Yossi Mekelberg from Regent’s University warned: “If you infringe on their sovereignty — how much are they going to tolerate it?

“We’re talking fine margins here and both sides can miscalculate.”

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) declined to comment on strikes in Lebanon and Iraq but confirmed involvement in strikes on Iranian targets in Syria.

IDF Spokesman Jonathan Cornicus said: “The regional instability is a result of Iran’s expeditionary or imperialist attempts.

“We’re not close to their border, they’re close to ours.”

Iran news

Israel’s actions may lead to a deadly war with Iran, experts claim (Image: GETTY)

Bashar al-Assad

Israel has confirmed strikes in Syria, whose President Bashar al-Assad is a key ally of Iran (Image: GETTY)

Israel’s most recent conflict with neighbours Lebanon came in a 34-day war in 2006.

This occurred after Hezbollah rockets hit border towns before an attack on an Israeli patrol which left three soldiers dead, and two were kidnapped with five dying in a rescue attempt.

The conflict is believed to have killed over 1,000 Lebanese people and 165 Israelis.

Hezbollah hold 13 seats in the Lebanese Parliament and are part of the ruling pro-Syria March 8 Alliance coalition.

READ MORE: Iran chaos: Tehran deploys warships to Gulf

Hassan Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani has key allies in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria (Image: GETTY)

Michel Aoun, President in Beirut has described the drone attacks within Lebanese borders as a “declaration of war”.

Assaf Orion of Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Service believes tensions between Israel and Hezbollah are at the highest since the death of two Israeli soldiers and a Spanish United Nations peacekeeper at the border.

Mr Orion wrote in an email: “If a Hezbollah attack brings mass casualties, it is a slippery and steep slope.

“If there are no casualties, perhaps it will be easier for the parties to avoid their worst scenario of a destructive, devastating war of an unprecedented scale.”


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Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrullah has vowed to retaliate (Image: GETTY)

Hassan Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani is the Iranian President (Image: GETTY)

Israel has never had formal relations with Beirut but the border was considered relatively calm until a 1978 invasion from Israel, after a Palestinian Liberation Organisation attack which killed 37 Israelis, including 13 children, Lebanon denied having any connection with the attack.

Tehran’s relations with Israel detonated after the 1979 Islamic Revolution with Iran referring to Israel as the “zionist regime” and removing recognition.

Israel has accused Iran of being involved in terror attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets.

Mr Netanyahu was a fierce critic of the Iran nuclear deal.

middle east

The split between US and Iranian allies in the region (Image: EXPRESS)

Baghdad declared war on Israel shortly after it was created and in 1981, Israel launched on an under construction nuclear reactor, 10.5 miles southeast of Baghdad.

Saddam Hussein’s forces fired Scud ballistic missiles into Israel during the Gulf War.

Missiles hit Tel Aviv and Haifa and drew fears Israel would join Operation Desert Storm.

Fearing Israeli involvement would result in the withdrawal of key Arab allies fighting alongside the US following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, President George HW Bush requested Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir not retaliate.

Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein fired scud missiles at Israel (Image: GETTY)

None of Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus or Tehran recognise Israel or allow Israeli passport holders to enter the country.

Lebanon does not allow anyone with an Israeli visa or stamp to enter, while Iranian and Iraqi passports are not valid for travel to Israel.

Mr Mekelberg warned: “They’ve (Israel) become overconfident that they can do it without facing retaliation, but there is no guarantee it won’t happen this time and that it will not be painful.”

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