Iran pledges to destroy Israel within 25 years as tensions rise

Hezbollah deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem in an interview with Lebanese Al Mayadeen TV

Hezbollah deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem in an interview with Lebanese Al Mayadeen TV

Yadlin said that while Iran had no such capability, it was capable of causing damage to the air force, and "the air force is an important factor in our ability to defend ourselves".

The general was referring to the recent bombing of an Iranian-controlled air base in central Syria.

Roni Daniel, military editor for The Israeli News Company, said the disclosure was a signal to Iran that its deployments in Syria "are totally exposed to us, and if you take action against us to avenge (the T-4 strike) these targets will be very severely harmed".

Neither Israel nor Iran is interested in an outright confrontation, Yadlin said, "but both sides are determined not to concede anything".

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Israel has repeatedly warned that it will not accept its arch-foe Iran entrenching itself militarily in Syria. Then too, Israeli pilots faced significant Syrian anti-aircraft fire, set off multiple warning sirens in northern Israel, sending residents into bomb shelters.

"Today I heard what Iran's Foreign Minister said, accusing Israel of violating worldwide law".

Several pro-regime Syrian sources and a Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese outlet later indicated the likely Israeli involvement in the strike, which targeted the same airbase hit by Israel in February after an Iranian drone breached the Jewish state's airspace.

"And I do not believe that the smokescreens work anymore", he said.

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Israel released details on Tuesday about what it described as an Iranian "air force" deployed in neighbouring Syria, including civilian planes suspected of transferring arms, a signal that these could be attacked should tensions with Tehran escalate. "Israel is headed for escalation", Yaacov Amidror, former national security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Tel Aviv radio station 103 FM. "I also heard his moderate words, and there is an enormous gulf between the words and the actions of the Revolutionary Guards [Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps], that are building up an army against Israel with the declared aim of destroying the State of Israel", Netanyahu alleged.

According to Daniel, Israel was bracing for a possible Iranian missile salvo or armed drone assault from Syria.

Adding that he had not been impressed the Iranian Foreign Minister's remarks, Netanyahu stressed that he trusts the Israeli Defense Forces, which "will be prepared for any possibility and any scenario".

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