Iran on Friday said it “strongly condemns” Israel’s attacks on neighboring Syria that reportedly hit nearly all of the Iranian military's infrastructure in the country, Reuters reported, citing state TV.
The Israeli military said Thursday it attacked dozens of Iranian targets in Syria in response to an Iranian rocket barrage on Israeli positions in the Golan Heights, in the most serious military confrontation between the two bitter enemies to date.
Israel says the strikes were retaliation for an Iranian rocket barrage on its positions in the Golan Heights and has called on the U.N. Security Council and secretary-general to immediately condemn Iran’s attack.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate halt to "all hostile acts" to avoid "a new conflagration" in the Middle East after Israeli forces bombed Iranian targets inside Syria.
The airstrikes were the largest military exchange ever between the two countries, Reuters reported.
Friday's state TV report quoted Bahram Ghasemi, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman. He called the airstrikes “fabricated and baseless excuses” and a breach of the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.
Avigdor Liberman, the Israeli defense minister, said, “If Iran hits us with a drizzle here, we will hit them with a downpour there.”
He said Israel will not stand for Iran turning Syria into a missile-launching ground to attack his country, the Jerusalem Post reported.
“There are many radical Islamists, but Iran is the only one which is really” implementing its ideology across the region and into Africa, he said, according to the paper.
The exchange occurred two days after President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would exit the 2015 nuclear accord.
The 2015 agreement, which was negotiated by the Obama administration and included Germany, France and Britain, had lifted most U.S. and international economic sanctions against Iran. In exchange, Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program, making it impossible to produce a bomb and establishing rigorous inspections.
Trump called the deal “defective at its core.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.