Not that there was much doubt who was behind it, but two days after “enemy” warplanes attacked a Syrian military base near Hama on Sunday, killing at least 11 Iranians and dozens of others, and nobody had yet “claimed responsibility” the attack, US officials told NBC that it was indeed Israeli F-15 fighter jets that struck the base, NBC News reported.
Ominously, the officials said Israel appears to be preparing for open warfare with Iran and is seeking U.S. help and support.
“On the list of the potentials for most likely live hostility around the world, the battle between Israel and Iran in Syria is at the top of the list right now,” said one senior U.S. official.
— Danny Makki (@Dannymakkisyria) 29 April 2018
The US officials told NBC that Israeli F-15s hit Hama after Iran delivered weapons to a base that houses Iran’s 47th Brigade, including surface-to-air missiles. In addition to killing two dozen troops, including officers, the strike wounded three dozen others. The report adds that the U.S. officials believe the shipments were intended for Iranian ground forces that would attack Israel.
Meanwhile, as we reported yesterday, the Syrian army said early on Monday that “enemy” rockets struck military bases belonging to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. According to several outlets, the strikes targeted the 47th Brigade base in the southern Hama district, a military facility in northwestern Hama and a facility north of the Aleppo International Airport.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday that Israel on Tuesday morning had four problems, one more than the day before: “Iran, Iran, Iran and hypocrisy.” The comment came one day after Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu “revealed” a cache of documents the Mossad stole from Iran detailing the country’s nuclear program, which however critics said were i) old and ii) not indicative of Iran’s current plans.
“This is the same Iran that cracks down on freedom of expression and on minorities. The same Iran that tried to develop nuclear weapons and entered the [nuclear] deal for economic benefits,” Lieberman said.
“The same Iran is trying to hide its weapons while everyone ignores it. The state of Israel cannot ignore Iran’s threats, Iran, whose senior officials promise to wipe out Israel,” he said. “They are trying to harm us, and we’ll have a response.
Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Khatami threatened Israel on Tuesday, saying it should stop its “dangerous behavior” and vowing that the “Iranian response will be surprising and you will regret it.” Khatami’s remarks came Following Netanyahu’s speech which Khatami described as Israeli “provocative actions,” and two days after the strikes in Syria.