May 11, 2018
Israel-Iran flare-up raises spectre of major confrontation
Journalist AFP Staff
Deadly strikes by Israel against alleged Iranian sites in Syria have raised fears of a dramatic escalation in regional conflict, but the situation remains shrouded by conflicting accounts and uncertainty.
Israel says its raids early Thursday were in immediate response to Iranian missiles raining down on the occupied Golan Heights.
But there has been no official statement from Iran, and analysts in Tehran say any missile strikes were conducted by the Syrian military.
Outside observers see a dangerous game of brinkmanship.
"The rules of the game are worked out by trial and error, by push and shove. The pushing and shoving has become more intense," said Heiko Wimmen, of the International Crisis Group.
"We are getting closer to the brink," he said.
Israel has repeatedly warned that it considers an entrenched Iranian military presence in war-ravaged Syria to be a dangerous red line.
In recent years, it has been suspected of carrying out strikes on installations manned by Syrian, Iranian, and allied Lebanese fighters across Syria.
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