Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, speaks during Tehran's Friday prayers July 16, 2010..
(photo credit: MORTEZA NIKOUBAZI/ REUTERS)
Hours after Israeli strikes on Iranian military targets in Syria, which reportedly killed 23 people, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Force, said that "resistance is the only way to confront" Iran's enemies, "not diplomacy."
Iran targets Israel from Syria, Israel responds, May 10, 2018 (Reuters)
"Wherever Iran has confronted its enemies, it has advanced; we have gained our power through difficult battles," Salami said, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
While Salami's immediate subject was the reports of European efforts to salvage the Iran nuclear deal following US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the 2015 agreement on Tuesday, his words also seemed to refer obliquely to the Israeli operation, which struck 50 Iranian targets in Syria after 20 rockets were fired toward Israeli military positions in the Golan Heights, according to the IDF. 28 Israeli fighter jets participated in the attack and Israel also fired more than 10 tactical ground-to-ground missiles, a Russian Defense Ministry statement quoted by Interfax news agency said.
Trump quits Iran nuclear deal, reimposes sanctions on Tehran (Reuters)
European countries are powerless to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, Salami said.
Iranian media is portraying the confrontation as an unprecedented Syrian attack on Israel.
"Tens of Israeli military centers... came under attack," reported the English website of the semi-official Fars News Agency, quoting Syrian media. "The Israeli Iron Dome defense shield has failed to intercept the rockets."
Other Iranian media sources, including Mashregh News, Iranian Student News Agency, and others, have presented the events in similar terms.
Responding on Twitter to a CNN report on the Israeli strikes, Syrian Member of Parliament Fares Shehabi denied that Iranians had launched the rockets against Israel.
Speaking to reporters Thursday morning, IDF spokesperson Brig-Gen. Ronen Manelis said that none of the 20 rockets fired from Syria had struck Israeli territory
"Iron Dome intercepted the rockets. There are no injuries and no damage was caused to IDF positions," Manelis said.
Manelis also clarified that Israel had targeted Iranian forces in Syria.
"The Quds Force paid a heavy price last night. We have seen a demonstration of the IDF's intelligence and airpower capabilities."