Israeli defence chief hopes fighting with Iran in Syria over for now

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"They need to decide if they want to increase the friction and for example ask Hezbollah to do something, or they understand that at this stage they can not take action against us and need to wait", said Nuriel.

Israel's military says Iranian forces based in neighboring Syria fired about 20 projectiles at Israeli positions in the Golan Heights. Iran has neither directly confirmed or denied the allegation.

Syrian Arab News Agency quoted an army official as saying that it shot down ten Israeli missiles at Syrian Golan preventing them from reaching the ground targets.

But Israel had already become increasingly anxious about Iran's military support of Syria. There are no immediate reports of airstrikes. It says none of its warplanes was hit.

"What is happening is a settling of accounts between two regional states - occupying powers - and the Syrian people is paying the price", he stated.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a total of 8,400 fighters and civilians left the area since May 3 and the last group left Thursday night.

Marandi said Iranians did not seem to have been among the casualties in Thursday morning's attacks.

After 10 hours together, Netanyahu said he conveyed Israel's obligation to defend itself against Iranian aggression.

But in the past few weeks, Israel has shifted to a more direct and public confrontation with Iran, striking at Iranian bases, weapons depots and rocket launchers across Syria, and killing Iranian troops.

Confronted by Iranian-allied Hezbollah on its northern border, Israel also faces another enemy to the south with Hamas in Gaza. "Get rid of the Iranians and we can, perhaps, change our mode of life here", he said. "If we get rain, they'll get a flood".

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Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said four of the rockets were intercepted, while the others missed their targets, according to the AP.

Iranian state television reported that Syria had given a "crushing response". Israel captured the territory in the 1967 Mideast War and annexed it in 1981, but the world still considers it occupied.

Russian Federation and Iran have been allies in the Syrian war, defending President Bashar Assad.

By contrast, the massive Israeli response has destroyed "nearly all" of Iran's military infrastructure in Syria, claimed Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Israel says it struck dozens of Iranian targets overnight in response to a rocket barrage on Israeli positions in the Golan Heights. He says no one was harmed in Israel and all the rockets were either intercepted or fell short. The incoming attack set off air raid sirens in the Golan. "These matters are very important to Israel's security at all times and especially at this time", he said.

Israel will no doubt strike back following any attack on its territory, a scenario that could spiral into a wider conflict that experts say no side is now interested in.

The two sides have been on a collision course for months.

Moscow did not condemn Israel's strikes, as it had in the past, instead calling on Israel and Iran to resolve their differences diplomatically.

Marandi said most of the rockets from Syria had penetrated Israel's "Iron Dome" defences and hit key sites, including intelligence-gathering centres.

There is growing speculation that Iran's military adventure in Syria is interfering with Russia's agenda in the region.

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