Kuwait City: The United States has allegedly given Israel the go-ahead to assassinate the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s overseas arm, the Quds force, according to a Kuwaiti newspaper.
Al-Jarida quoted an unnamed source in Jerusalem as saying that "there is an American-Israeli agreement" that General Qassem Soleimani was a "threat to the two countries" interests in the region. The report further said that Iran’s second in command in Syria, Mohammad Reda Falah Zadeh, may also "be a target" of an Israeli attack.
Meanwhile, in the largest operation in Syria since the signing of disengagement agreement in 1974, Israel on Thursday said it has struck almost all of the Iranian infrastructure on Syrian soil during the overnight raids in retaliation to a barrage of rocket fire on its territory by Iran.
The Israel Defence Force (IDF) claimed that the overnight clash, the largest-ever direct clash between the Iranian and Israeli armies, was a setback to Iran's military capabilities by "many months".
Israel's Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that his army struck "almost all of the Iranian infrastructure in Syria" overnight in response to a rocket barrage at its military outposts in the Golan Heights by Iran, PTI reported.
Asserting that Israel does not want an escalation, Lieberman said that Israel won't allow Iran to turn Syria into a "forward base" against his country and that, Israel has no desire to expand their military presence to create new proxies and fronts. "If it rains on us, it will pour on them," he said.
"I hope we finished this chapter and everyone got the message," Lieberman further said, adding that Iran was truly the only country today that represents extremism, not just ideologically but also in its willingness to sacrifice its citizens, sacrifice its future for this same extremist ideology. He also confirmed that no rocket landed in the Israeli territory.
Israel had been bracing for a possible Iranian "revenge" attack after the Islamic Republic accused the Jewish state of having attacked one of its bases in Syria on April 9 in which nine Iranian commanders were said to have been killed. Israel did not confirm or deny its involvement in that attack.
The Agreement on Disengagement was an agreement between Israel and Syria, signed in May 1974, which officially ended the Yom Kippur War and the subsequent attrition period on the Syrian front.
The Israeli military accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Al Quds force and Soleimani, of launching the attack at the Israeli Golan Heights. This is the first time that Israel has directly accused Iran of firing on its territory.
(With PTI inputs)