Who Started Recent Hostilities Between Israel and Iran?

IT’S ALL IN HOW THE STORY IS TOLD

by Sharon Rondeau

(May 10, 2018) — A volley of airstrikes from Israel into Iranian-occupied areas of Syria on Thursday reportedly demolished virtually all Iranian military stations inside the war-torn country after “20 rockets” were reported by Israel to have been fired from Syria into the disputed Golan Heights region.

Of the same event, TIME reported that Israel “attacked” Syria, making only a passing reference to unexplained “incoming missiles.”

The Times of Israel quoted the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) as having reported that “some 20 rockets were fired at Israeli military bases by Iranian forces in southern Syria just after midnight on Thursday, with some of the incoming missiles being intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system.”

The IDF tweeted that it believes Iran’s “Quds” forces launched the rockets.

Israel and Syria border one another, with the Golan Heights in between.  Iran, which does not border either nation, assumed a significant supportive role of Syria’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad, during Syria’s civil war which began in 2011.

“Israel said it attacked nearly all of Iran’s military infrastructure in Syria on Thursday after Iranian forces fired rockets at Israeli-held territory for the first time in the most extensive military exchange ever between the two adversaries,” Reuters reported in an extensive article on the conflict on Wednesday, Thursday in the Middle East.

Described as an “arch enemy” of Iran, Israel fears attacks from that nation’s terrorist organization, Hezbollah, as has occurred in the past, and the proliferation of Iranian terror into Syria and other countries.  Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a public case for why the U.S. should terminate the 2015 “Iran nuclear deal,” also known as the “JCPOA,” negotiated by the Obama administration purportedly to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

On Thursday The Daily Beast reported that “Hezbollah’s ‘Warriors of God’” were “brac[ing] for a showdown with Israel” “After the biggest Israeli attack on Syrian soil since 1973.”  The article concludes with:

Ultimately, how far Israel acts against Iran, and its proxies such as Hezbollah, will be determined in large part by the prevailing mood on Pennsylvania Avenue. With President Trump citing both Tehran’s support for Hezbollah and its “sinister activities in Syria” as among his reasons for leaving the JCPOA—and with renowned Iran hawks Mike Pompeo and John Bolton at the president’s ear—there seems little reason to expect the Israelis to be held back any time soon.

The closing statement could be considered opinion rather than straight news.

Meanwhile, a Fox News column labeled “Opinion” maintains that “Israel responded forcefully early Thursday to about 20 Iranian missiles launched from Syria just after midnight local time against the Jewish state – and handed Iran a painful lesson in strategic deterrence.”

Donald Trump had campaigned on the premise that the Iran nuclear agreement was a poor decision on Obama’s part and not in the United States’s best interest.  On Tuesday, Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the accord but that he remained open to reworking it.

A number of Iranian Parliamentarians indicated their contempt for Trump’s decision by burning American flags and chanting “Death to America.”

“Trump’s move on the Iran deal could torpedo negotiations with North Korea before they even start,” warned Business Insider on Tuesday, referring to Trump’s anticipated meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un next month.

After it was made public in late March that Trump was replacing National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster with John Bolton, BI reported, “Trump’s new top security adviser wants to bomb Iran and tear up the nuclear deal.”

On Monday, Business Insider issued the dire headline, “An Israeli minister threatened to kill Syria’s Assad, a Putin ally, as war looms with Iran over missile threat.”

According to an IDF press release cited by Fox News on Thursday, “The IDF will not allow the Iranian threat to establish itself in Syria. The Syrian regime will be held accountable for everything happening in its territory.”

On Thursday CBS News headlined an article with “Israel bombs ‘dozens’ of alleged Iranian targets in Syria” which was further explained as, “The Israeli military on Thursday said it attacked ‘dozens’ of Iranian targets in neighboring Syria in response to an Iranian rocket barrage on Israeli positions in the Golan Heights.”

The same day, Business Insider issued an article titled, “Israel launched a barrage of airstrikes on 50 Iranian targets in Syria — a massive escalation that could lead to all-out war,” then expounding:

Israel’s military launched a barrage of missile strikes on Iranian targets based in Syria early Thursday morning, a massive retaliation in an ongoing conflict between the two bitter enemies.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claimed fighter jets took down “dozens” of Iranian military targets in Syria overnight Thursday. The IDF spokeman’s unit told Israel’s Channel 10 News more than 50 targets were hit.

In a series of tweets, the army said the strikes were in response to Iranian rockets launched at IDF positions in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights earlier that night.

“Israel launches massive military strike against Iranian targets in Syria,” The Washington Post reported on Thursday, elaborating with “The Israeli military said it had struck dozens of Iran-linked military targets in Syria on Thursday in response to rocket fire, marking a significant escalation in regional hostilities a little more than a day after the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.”

In an interview with CBS on Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence said that “a pretty strong message” had been sent to Iran by Trump’s announcement of the withdrawal from the “deal” which he believed was “deeply flawed.”

 

Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news.  She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.

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