In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows missiles flying into the sky near international airport, in Damascus, Syria, Jan. 21, 2019
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows missiles flying into the sky near international airport, in Damascus, Syria, Jan. 21, 2019

Twenty-one people were killed by Israeli airstrikes Monday in Syria. The dead reportedly including 12 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

The latest round of attacks between Israel and Iran began with a series of Israeli airstrikes Sunday on Iranian targets in Syria, attacks that have become almost routine. But this time the missile strikes took place during the day and Israeli officials openly took responsibility for them. Israel usually neither confirms nor denies these strikes.

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows missiles flying into the sky near international airport, in Damascus, Syria, Jan. 21, 2019
Israel Confirms Military Strike on Iranian Targets in Syria
In a rare public admission, Israel confirmed early Monday that it carried out airstrikes on Iranian military targets inside Syria."We have started striking Iranian Quds targets in Syrian territory.

Iran’s retaliation came a few hours later with a surface to surface missile fired at the Golan Heights, which includes Israel’s only ski resort.

 FILE - Israeli soldiers patrol the cease-fire line between Israel and Syria, as seen from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, July 26, 2018.
Netanyahu Welcomes US Vote Against UN Golan Resolution
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday welcomed a U.S. decision to vote for the first time against an annual U.N. resolution condemning Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights. "I would like to thank President [Donald] Trump and Ambassador [Nikki] Haley on this important and just vote that is completely in keeping with my policy," Netanyahu said at the start of a Cabinet meeting.

That missile was intercepted and shot down by the Iron Dome system. There were no casualties but Israeli army officials said if it had landed it could have killed dozens of people.

Israel responded to the Iranian missile launch with a widespread attack in Syria that killed 21 people.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks a
FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Israeli Air Force pilots' graduation ceremony at Hatzerim air base in southern Israel, Dec. 26, 2018.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will not allow Iran to establish a foothold in Syria.

"Israel will continue to block Iran's efforts to use Syria Lebanon and Gaza as forward bases for attacking Israel for the express purpose which they openly declare — destroying Israel," Netanyahu said.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 12 of the dead in Israel's retaliatory strike were members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, which could increase tensions between Israel and Iran even further.

In the past Russia and the United States have acted to calm tensions between Israel and Iran. But now neither side appears willing to intervene, especially after President Donald Trump announced he is pulling all American troops out of Syria.

A senior Iranian official said his country will continue to be involved in Syria as long as the Syrian government asks for its help.

An Arrow 3 anti-missile interceptor, jointly devel
FILE - An Arrow 3 anti-missile interceptor, jointly developed by the Israeli and U.S. governments, is test-fired from central Israel on Feb. 19, 2018.

Meanwhile, Israel says it has carried out a successful test of its Arrow 3 Missile Defense System, developed in cooperation with the United States.

A pioneer of the Arrow system, Uzi Rubin, says the Arrow 3 will increase Israel’s defense significantly.

"This is meant to work against Iranian missiles than can fly for thousands of miles," said Rubin. "It is the first defense these missiles will meet."

Despite the current tensions, Israeli analysts say they do not believe Israel or Iran wants a war.

 

 

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