In the aftermath of the president’s decision to pull the U.S. from a multinational nuclear deal with Tehran, an all-out war between Israel and Iran has broken out and is already threatening to destabilize the entire region and suck the United States into another armed conflict.
On Wednesday, Israeli fighter jets hit dozens of Iranian targets in Syria overnight, Israeli officials said, following soon after what the Israeli military described as an unsuccessful Iranian rocket attack against its forces in the Golan Heights, the New York Times reports.
Though Israel has hit Iranian forces in Syria with a number of deadly airstrikes, Tehran has been restrained in hitting back, until now.
The airstrikes came amid drastically ramped up tensions in the Middle East following President Trump’s move this week to scrap the Iran deal.
Israel had railed against the agreement, and Trump had campaigned on the promise of withdrawing from it, but European countries and many analysts had seen it as a crucial element holding Iran and Israel, implacable foes, from all-out conflict.
In all, at least 23 people were killed in the strikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitoring group. Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency said the Syrian Army had responded by firing 68 missiles at Israel.
In a sign of international concern that the conflict could escalate, Britain, France, Germany and Russia were quick to call for calm. Moscow — which enjoys warm ties with Israel and has had ever-closer relations with Iran in recent years — in particular, called for “restraint from all parties.” President Trump has remained silent.