The recent Israeli bombing attack on Iranian forces in Syria—who are there fighting ISIS and other terrorist groups—is the one conflict in the world that is “most likely to devolve into open clashes,” a senior US official has told NBC.
The news station said that the Israeli airstrike on the western Syrian city of Hama on Sunday which killed 24 Iranian soldiers and targeted anti-aircraft missiles recently delivered from Iran, “is the latest sign that Israel and Iran are moving closer to open warfare.
“”On the list of the potentials for most likely live hostility around the world, the battle between Israel and Iran in Syria is at the top of the list right now,” said one senior U.S. official.
According to NBC, the US officials confirmed that American-supplied F-15s bombed Hama after Iran delivered surface-to-air missiles to that base which are of the same type that shot down an Israeli F-15 earlier this year.
The report said that “Israel now seems to be preparing for military action and is seeking U.S. help and support,” adding that on Monday, Defense Secretary James Mattis said that he and Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke “at some length” about Iran’s presence and actions in Syria during a meeting at the Pentagon last week.
“During the past week, senior Israeli military leaders have been meeting with senior U.S. counterparts, both in the region and in the U.S., looking for U.S. support for stronger action against Iran in Syria. U.S. officials say the Israeli requests include intelligence support,” NBC continued.
The blast from the latest air raid—which is still being officially denied in Israel—could be seen from kilometers away and registered a 2.6 on the Richter scale on nearby seismographs.
A report in the Times of Israel quoted Alaeddin Boroujerdi, president of Iran’s parliamentary foreign affairs committee, as saying that his country will retaliate against “Israeli aggression” in Syria.
“We are in Syria at the request of the Syrian government,” Boroujerdi said. “The aggression of the Zionist entity on our advisers in Syria guarantees us the right of response. We will respond at the right time and place,” he told a news conference in the Syrian capital, Damascus.