One of the major concerns the west has had with Iran and their pursuit of increasingly dangerous weapons is their longstanding hatred of the state of Israel, leading to fears that they might launch an attack on them given the chance. This confrontational attitude (and a stated desire to “drive Israel into the sea”) has colored most of the relationship between Iran and the United States. If anyone doubted the sincerity of Iran’s leadership in this goal you can stop wondering. Last night Iranian forces in Syria opened fire on Israel with a salvo of rockets, causing Israel to answer in kind. The news first came out from the IDF on Twitter.
A number of rockets were intercepted by the IDF's Iron Dome aerial defense system. No injuries were reported. The IDF views this event with great severity and remains prepared for a wide variety of scenarios
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) May 9, 2018
Fox News has some of the early details, though the situation is still developing.
Iranian forces based in Syria fired approximately 20 rockets toward Israeli positions in the Golan Heights, the Israeli military said late Wednesday.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said its Iron Dome missile defense system had intercepted “some” of the incoming rockets. No injuries were reported.
IDF Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told the Associated Press that Israel views the incident “with severity” and has responded. In a statement to Fox News, the IDF asked residents of the Golan Heights to remain in special “safety zones” for the time being.
Just to spice up the situation even further, Russia is already getting involved, obviously taking Iran’s side.
BREAKING: Russia calls for 'dialogue' between Israel and Iran: foreign minister Lavrov – AFP
— Conflict News (@Conflicts) May 10, 2018
Iran has been increasingly active in Syria, adding one more unstable element to the toxic stew which has been brewing there for years. Mindful of this, Isreal has already struck some known Iranian positions near Damascus, taking out Iranian rocket launchers as recently as Tuesday. It’s possible the Iranians decided to take a few shots at them in retaliation. At this point, we’re not just dealing with Syrians over there. The country is now home to forces including Americans, Russians, the Kurds, Iraquis, Iranians and, most recently, the Turks. Talk about a mess.
But having Iran launching attacks on Isreal takes things to the next level. And these are the people we supposedly struck a “deal” with a few years back. Of course, it’s long since become clear that Iran had already violated the terms of the deal, so there wasn’t much sense in continuing to honor it.
Israel’s response thus far looks fairly proportional. Let’s hope that Iran backs down and doesn’t turn this into a full-blown regional war, because if Israel becomes fully, actively engaged in a shooting war with Iran, we’re going to get dragged into it and then all bets are off.