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Israel has reinforced its military positions in the Golan Heights, the contested area in Israel's north which borders Lebanon and Syria, where arch-enemy Iran has established a military foothold with some units just miles from the border.

Israel said on Thursday that more than 20 missiles were launched by Iranian forces in Syria and that some of them were intercepted by Iron Dome.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the strikes, saying 28 Israeli F-15 and F-16 warplanes had fired 60 missiles at Iranian troop concentrations and air-defense systems inside Syria.

He said none of the Iranian rockets struck inside Israeli-held territory, and they either fell short or were shot down by Israeli defenses.

Syria's state media said Syrian air defenses intercepted "hostile Israeli missiles" early Thursday that were fired over southwestern Damascus.

Israeli schools in the Golan Heights opened as usual on Thursday morning, after sirens had sent residents to shelters during the night.

Israel's strikes overnight were one of the country's largest aerial operations in decades across the Syrian frontier, and by far its broadest direct attack yet on Iranian assets.

"We don't want an escalation, but won't let anyone attack us or build an infrastructure to attack us in the future", Lieberman said.

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Germany and Britain joined the United States in denouncing the rocket fire they also said came from Iran, while France reiterated its "unwavering support for Israel's security".

Iranian forces moved into Syria after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011 to back the forces of President Bashar Assad. The pan-Arab Al Hayat newspaper reported Thursday that Russian Federation and Israel were developing an agreement to keep Iran out of southern Syria and allow Syrian government forces to retake the region. Israeli cities would be hit, as might strategic targets in Iran. He added, "I hope that we ended this chapter and that everyone understood".

In February there was unmanned airplane shot down by Israel, an Israeli plane was shot down in Syria.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Moscow on Wednesday to meet with President Vladimir Putin and discuss military coordination in Syria.

Iran has vowed to retaliate for repeated Israeli airstrikes targeting its forces in Syria.

In response, Israel has conducted numerous airstrikes in Syria over the past six years.

Tehran accused Israel of having carried out the attack but Israel, as per its known policy, did not accept or deny any responsibility. But it also emphasizes the diminishing U.S. influence in Syria - and the region in general. "It means we are on a collision course".

The US urged "all nations to make clear that the Iranian regime's action pose a severe threat to worldwide peace and stability".


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