US carries out missile strike on Iranian building in Syria
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Speaking today, Mr Netanyahu claimed Iran was Israel’s greatest enemy after the vessel was attacked. He said: “You know my policy. Iran is Israel’s biggest enemy. “I am determined to fend it off. We are striking at it all over the region.”
The Iranian government soon responded, accusing Israel of being the biggest threat to regional stability.
Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Tehran, said: “We strongly reject this accusation.
“The Zionist regime knows very well that our response to our security issues and areas is always firm and precise.”
Although denied by the Iranian government, Israel claimed limpet mines had been used on the Helios Ray last week.
US officials claimed the vessel had been struck above the water line.
Whatever weapon was used against the ship it ripped through both sides of its hull.
This preceded a separate attack in Damascus which the Syrian government claimed had been carried out by Israel.
Israel has denied this although it has previously claimed in the future it will launch military action against Iranian affiliates in Syria.
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Tensions have risen in the last few months following a series of incidents.
Iran has vowed to take revenge following the attack on high-level scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last year.
A report has claimed Israeli intelligence forces carried out the attack on the scientist.
Fakhrizadeh, 59, had been identified by Israel as one of the leading figures behind the country’s nuclear programme.
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In a separate incident, the US accused Iran of a series of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in 2019.
Both the Front Altair and Kokuka Courageous vessels had been sailing through international waters when they were hit.
They had passed through the Strait of Hormuz before issuing respective distress signals.
Both crews were evacuated before being taken to an Iranian port.
The Helios Ray was targeted shortly after multiple targets were hit by US airstrikes.
John Kirby, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, commented: “This proportionate military response was conducted together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with coalition partners.
“The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and coalition personnel.
“At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to deescalate the overall situation in eastern Syria and Iraq.”
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