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Israel concerned over Iran's efforts to establish presence in Syria

16 April 2018

President Donald Trump announced late Friday that a joint US-British-French operation had been launched on Syria, targeting the "criminal" regime of Bashar al-Assad and saying an alleged chemical attack had marked a "significant escalation".

Netanyahu said he told May over the phone on Saturday night that the airstrike sent "an important worldwide message of zero tolerance for the use of non-conventional weapons". We thank them both.

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Lebanon's Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah early in the day said that Israel had made a "historic blunder" using all the attack.

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"Syria and Russia are fighting a battle not only against terrorism, but also for protecting global law ... based on respect for state sovereignty and the will of their people", Assad said at a meeting with members of Russia's ruling United Russia Party.

To that end, Netanyahu declared, "A year ago, I made clear that Israel fully supports the decision by President Trump to stand against the use and spread of chemical weapons", in an apparent reference to previous United States strikes against Syria in April 2017 following a sarin gas attack attributed to Assad's regime. "This night, under America's guidance, the United States, France and Britain acted accordingly (because) Syria continues to carry out its murderous actions", the official, who declined to be identified, said. Several opposition party leaders also issued statements praising the retaliation for the use of chemical weapons. "Tonight, under American leadership, the United States, France and the United Kingdom enforced that line", another Israeli official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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The U.S. notified Israel on Friday before it carried out missile strikes on Syrian targets, an Israeli official told Reuters.

Israel concerned over Iran's efforts to establish presence in Syria