00:06 GMT +325 May 2018
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    Israeli soldiers walk next to mobile artillery units in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights near the border with Syria. (File)

    Israeli Forces on High Alert Over 'Unusual Spike in Iran's Activity' in Syria

    © AP Photo / Ariel Schalit
    Middle East
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    The Israeli leadership has been for a long time accusing Iran of having a military presence in Syria and even having a base there, claims that Tehran has strongly refuted as groundless, though admitting sending military advisors to train troops loyal to Damascus.

    The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have deployed its defence systems and are "on high alert for an attack," after identifying what it said was "irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria".

    The IDF has also ordered local authorities in the Golan Heights, controlled by Israel, to "unlock and ready (bomb) shelters." 

    Following US President Donald Trump's Tuesday announcement that the US would be withdrawing from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, Israel also stated that it would be mobilizing some of its forces.

    "We are drafting reservists in specific cases, as required," a military spokesperson told Reuters.

    READ MORE: Israel Vows to Retaliate Against Aggression as US Ready to Decide on Iran Deal

    Earlier this week, reports circulated in the media that Iran was preparing response to alleged Israeli attacks on Iranian facilities in Syria in late April.

    Israel has been blamed for conducting a series of strikes on military bases in Syria, where Iranian forces operated on April 30. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that missile strikes on arms depots in northern Syria had killed 26 servicemen fighting alongside government forces, most of those killed were Iranians. However, the Iranian Tasnim news agency, citing an unnamed source, has denied the fact of missiles hitting Iran's base in Syria, saying that "all these reports over attack on an Iranian military base in Syria and the martyrdom of several Iranian military advisers in Syria are baseless."

    Relations between Tel Aviv and Tehran has been tense over the past time, with Israel viewing Iranian activities in Syria as a threat to national security. Israel has repeatedly claimed that Iran was allegedly building a permanent military base south of country's capital of Damascus.

    READ MORE: Why Trump Cracks Down on Iran, Turns a Blind Eye to Israel's Nukes

    February was marked by a major escalation in the conflict between Israel and Iran in Syria when the Israeli army said its helicopter intercepted an Iranian drone launched from Syria and that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck Iranian targets in Syria. The Israeli moves prompted fire from Syrian air defense systems, resulting in an Israeli F-16 fighter jet being hit. In the second wave of the attack, the Israeli forces struck 12 targets in Syria, including Syrian air defense batteries and Iranian military facilities, the country's Defense Forces (IDF) said.

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    Iran, Israel, Syria
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