Israel sends military reinforcements to Lebanon, Syria borders

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That's the reason Israel stepped up its air attacks on February 10, focusing on what it called "Iranian bases", and why the United States has announced it will maintain and increase its troop levels in Syria.

Without the USA confronting Iran directly, Goldberg wrote, "America will keep sleepwalking into an era of Iranian hegemony in the Middle East".

A statement released by the US State Department said, "The United States is deeply concerned about today's escalation of violence over Israel's border and strongly supports Israel's sovereign right to defend itself".

Iran's growing threat to Israel in southern Syria notwithstanding, Saturday's incident may have been Moscow's way of sending a stern message to Washington.

Maybe, eventually, the players will get exhausted and forge a power-sharing accord in Syria, as the Lebanese eventually did in 1989 to end their civil war.

Predictably, everyone claimed victory as yet another wave of airstrikes hit Syria.

He added, "God willing they will see more surprises whenever they try to attack Syria".

In the northwest, Turkey has sent its Syrian allies to attack Afrin and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened Manbij, 80 miles to the east, where USA troops commingle with the Kurd defenders and US generals were visible last week. How far can Israel go? Anyone with a weapon appears to be invited to a horrific conflict that has seen Syrians bombed by almost a dozen different countries - the USA military alliance in the east of the country includes Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, France has bombed targets in the country, Russia's air force is in constant action, Turkey has invaded the north, while Israel bombs at will - as well as their own government.

He promised Israel would respond if the Islamic Republic crossed its "red lines" after a series of clashes. So this is a new step. Netanyahu has tried on numerous occasions to persuade Russian Federation to reign in Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. Although it is not clear who was controlling the anti-aircraft missiles, the possibility remains that it was the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

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"This is not the time for talk, it's time for action", Liberman said. "Iran can create a hell for the Zionist regime of Israel", Salami said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the attack, saying his country delivered "severe blows to the Iranian and Syrian forces".

The Syrian forces of President Bashir al-Assad have in the past been assisted by Iranian-backed militias and Russian forces. Iran seems determined to remain there. The Syrians were effective in blocking these Iranian attempts.

Mr Steinitz warned against Iran supplying weapons to the Assad regime and the military group Hezbollah.

It is to ignore that Israel has been in illegal military occupation of Syrian territory since 1967, land seized in a war Israel started. Likewise, developments and conflicts in Syria influence the surrounding countries - Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This is one of the reasons why Israel is conducting such an active diplomatic campaign vis-a-vis the Russians throughout the last two years.

The U.S. policy in Syria has always been vague and often inconsistent.

Are there options for the Europeans to mediate?

"I think that this incident is likely to be contained", he said. It is both a strategic ally of Israel, and at the same time it enjoys some level of access or reliability from Iran. Hezbollah is a vital proxy that has enabled Iran to keep regional pressure on Israel. So it has the know-how, the capacities, and a huge interest to stop this cycle of escalation.

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