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12 Iranians killed in 'Israeli strike' in Syria, Arab media reports say

Syrian government forces preparing to attack rebel forces near the village of Sawwan, in the Aleppo governorate, this week
George OURFALIAN (AFP/File)
Liberman stated last week 'there is no physical Iranian military presence at the moment in Syria'

At least twelve Iranian military personnel were reportedly killed and many more injured on Friday night in an alleged Israeli airstrike on an Iranian base in Syria, according to reports by multiple Arab media outlets on Saturday.

The newspaper Arab Today, directly quoting Iranian media, revealed the names of the dozen members of the Iranian forces that were said to have been killed in the Israeli attack on the base near the Syrian capital of Damascus.

Five missiles were said to have been fired by Israel, one of which destroyed the arms depot situated near El-Kiswah and two of which were intercepted by the Syrian government's “military position,” according to SANA, Syria’s state-run news agency.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian authorities have yet to comment on the reports. However, reports from Lebanon’s Al-Mustaqbal TV and the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya network stated that information on the deaths emerged from accounts on the Telegram messaging application linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Only last week Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman shunned Netanyahu’s fears and stated that “there is no physical Iranian military presence at the moment in Syria.”

Whilst he did accept Iran’s expanding influence through proxies in Syria and elsewhere, Liberman asserted explicitly that Iranian presence was limited to “some Iranian advisers and experts.”

Netanyahu has previously warned that Iran was building permanent military installations in Syria, and the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps Qassem Soleimani has been photographed along with other Iranian troops in the country.

Only hours before the reported Iranian fatalities on Saturday, Netanyahu published a video that reiterated Israel’s policy on Iran and delivered a harsh warning to the state.

“We will not allow a regime hellbent on the annihilation of the Jewish state to acquire nuclear weapons,” he said, adding that Israel, “will not allow that regime to entrench itself militarily in Syria, as it seeks to do, for the express purpose of eradicating our state.”

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Shame Khakameimi was not amongst them but then he loves to send others to do his dirty work.

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