Tag Archives: airstrikes

Trump-Iran news: President claims he called off airstrikes on Tehran after general told him '150 people would die'

Trump-Iran news: President claims he called off airstrikes on Tehran after general told him '150 people would die'Donald Trump approved military strikes against Iran before abruptly pulling back at the last minute, sparking controversy and outcry.“On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone,” the president explained in a series of tweets.Having responded to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ decision to shoot down the costly US Navy surveillance drone with a surface-to-air missile, the president said Tehran had made “a very big mistake” but ultimately refrained from going through with an operation that would have targetted radars and missile batteries in the Gulf.The president said on Friday the US was “cocked and loaded” to retaliate against Iran for downing the unmanned American surveillance drone but he cancelled the strikes minutes before they were to be launched after being told 150 people could die.Mr Trump’s tweeted statement raised important questions, including why he learned about possible deaths only at the last minute.His stance was the latest example of the president showing some reluctance to escalate tensions with Iran into open military conflict. He did not rule out a future strike but said in a TV interview that the likelihood of casualties from the Thursday night plan to attack three sites in Iran did not seem like the correct response to shooting down an unmanned drone earlier in the day in the Strait of Hormuz.“I didn’t think it was proportionate,” he said in an interview with NBC News’ Meet the Press.The aborted attack was the closest the US has come to a direct military strike on Iran in the year since the administration pulled out of the 2015 international agreement intended to curb the Iranian nuclear program and launched a campaign of increasing economic pressure against the Islamic Republic.Mr Trump told NBC News that he never gave a final order to launch the strikes — planes were not yet in the air but would have been “pretty soon.”Additional reporting by AP. Please allow a moment for our liveblog to load



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India airstrikes in Pakistan raise fears of escalation

India airstrikes in Pakistan raise fears of escalationBALAKOT, Pakistan (AP) — Tensions escalated sharply on the Asian subcontinent Tuesday with nuclear-armed neighbors Pakistan and India trading accusations and warnings after a pre-dawn airstrike by India that New Delhi said targeted a terrorist training camp.



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Pakistan minister urges 'better sense' from India after airstrikes: Radio Pakistan

Pakistan minister urges 'better sense' from India after airstrikes: Radio PakistanPakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday that “better sense” should prevail in India after Indian jets crossed into Pakistan and carried out what one Indian minister called an airstrike on militant terror camps. Qureshi warned India not to challenge Pakistan and said “better sense should prevail in India”, according to a statement cited by state-run Radio Pakistan.



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Afghan lawmaker says airstrikes kill 21 civilians

Afghan lawmaker says airstrikes kill 21 civiliansKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Airstrikes in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province have killed 21 civilians, including women and children, a lawmaker from the region said Sunday.



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11 killed in Israeli airstrikes against Iranian bases in Syria

11 killed in Israeli airstrikes against Iranian bases in SyriaIsraeli airstrikes in Syria killed 11 Iranian and pro-regime fighters on Monday, in the most serious direct confrontation between Iran and Israel in the last six months.  Israeli warplanes attacked bases belonging to Iran’s elite Quds Force after an Iranian missile was fired from Syria towards the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights on Sunday, the Israeli military said.   The Iranian missile was reportedly fired in response to Israeli air raids carried out inside Syria earlier in the day on Sunday.  By Monday morning, the situation appeared calm but Israeli forces were on high alert and both sides were watching for any signs of a fresh escalation.  The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said the Israeli attacks had killed 11 people, including Iranian troops, Hizbollah fighters, and at least two Syrians.  It was the highest death toll from Israeli raids since May 2018, when waves of Israeli airstrikes killed at least 23 Iranian and Syria fighters.  Israeli army Merkava tanks gather in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, on January 20, 2019 Credit:  JALAA MAREY/AFP Israel is determined to continue its campaign to stop Iran from entrenching in Syria despite Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from the country.  It warned the Syrian regime that it “was putting itself at risk” by allowing Iranian forces to use its territory for strikes against Israel. The head of Iran’s air force, Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh, responded that his forces were “impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth”.  The escalation appears to have begun on Sunday afternoon when Israeli aircraft carried out a rare daylight operation against targets inside Syria. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) refused to comment on whether they struck first.  At around 3pm Iranian forces fired a midrange surface-to-surface missile from Damascus towards the Golan Heights, where thousands of Israelis were skiing on Mount Hermon, according to the IDF.  The Iranian missile was shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system. Israeli skiers recorded video of a pair of interceptor missiles streaking over the ski slopes towards their target. There were no injuries on the Israeli side.  “We saw that as an unacceptable attack by Iranian troops – not proxies, not Shia militias, not Syrian forces, but Iranian troops firing an Iranian-made missile,” said Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli spokesman.  What is believed to be guided missiles are seen in the sky during what is reported to be an attack in Damascus, Syria Credit: Reuters   He said Israeli intelligence showed the missile strike was “premeditated” in that Iran had brought the missile to Syria with the intent of firing it at Israel, rather than using it in the internal Syrian conflict.      Israel launched three waves of airstrikes against Quds Force targets, including their main weapons depot at Damascus airport, which they used to supply their own troops and Hizbollah fighters, the IDF said.  Israel said it had informed the Syrian regime via Russia that it was targeting Iranian bases and warned Syrian forces not to fire on Israeli aircraft.  But Syrian air defence systems nonetheless fired dozens of missiles at the attacking Israeli jets. Israel said it then struck Syrian regime targets in response.   “This regime is putting itself at risk by allowing the Iranians extensive and almost unlimited use of Syrian facilities,” the IDF said. “Syria yesterday paid a price for allowing Iran to plan and conduct attacks from its soil.” Israel has carried out thousands of strikes against Iranian and Hizbollah targets inside Syria as part of its effort to keep Iran from entrenching its forces in the Arab state.   The attacks have mostly been carried out in secret but Israel has become increasingly vocal in recent weeks, with both Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and senior military officers referring publicly to the strikes.  So far, Israel has been able to carry out its operations without sparking a full-blown war but international observers fret that one day a miscalculation by either side could lead a much larger conflict.



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Israel resumes airstrikes in Syria with attack outside Damascus

Israel resumes airstrikes in Syria with attack outside DamascusIsraeli jets struck reportedly struck Hizbollah targets outside Damascus on Tuesday, reasserting Israeli airpower in Syria after several months of restraint following the accidental downing of a Russian military plane.  The air raid was the first since Donald Trump announced he was pulling US troops out of Syria, prompting Israel’s government to say it would continue and expand its fight against Iran and its proxies in the country.  The Israeli aircraft hit three Hizbollah arms depots south of Damascus, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Syrian state media said three Syrian regime soldiers were wounded in the attack.  Israel’s military refused to comment, as is its custom with air strikes in Syria. However, it said that it fired air defence weapons in response to a Syrian anti-aircraft missile that was launched on Tuesday night. No injuries or damage was reported.   Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes against Iran, Hizbollah, and occasionally the Syrian regime as part of its campaign to prevent Iranian forces and their allies from entrenching in Syria. However, Israel has been more muted in its attacks since September, when a Russian military aircraft got caught up in an aerial battle over Damascus and was accidentally shot down by Syrian air defence systems.  All 15 Russian servicemen onboard were killed and Russia blamed Israel for their deaths, accusing Israeli pilots of maneuvering behind the Russian aircraft when they were fired upon by the Syrian regime.  Israel denied that its pilots took cover behind the Russian plane and sent a senior delegation to Moscow to try to calm Russian anger over the incident.  Tuesday night’s attack was the largest air raid since the downing of the Russian plane. It was also the first attack since Mr Trump alarmed Israel by announcing that he was pulling US forces out of Syria.  Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, vowed that he would continue to fight against Iran and Hizbollah even after the US withdrew.   "We will continue to act very aggressively against Iran's efforts to entrench in Syria,” Mr Netanyahu said last week. "We do not intend to reduce our efforts. We will intensify them, and I know that we do so with the full support and backing of the United States." Analysts said Tuesday’s large strike was a sign of Israel’s intention to resume regular attacks in Syria.  “Israel is signaling that from its perspective, it's business as usual again: Despite Trump's announcement and despite Russia's fury about its Ilyushin plane getting shot down last September, Israel sees itself as free to continue attacking targets in Syria, when necessary,” said Amos Harel, a military analyst with the Haaretz newspaper.



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Israeli official confirms Syria airstrikes as Russia objects

Israeli official confirms Syria airstrikes as Russia objectsJERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli security official on Wednesday confirmed responsibility for overnight airstrikes in Syria, saying the air force had hit a series of targets involved in Iranian arms transfers to the Hezbollah militant group.



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Israeli airstrikes target Iranian military installations in Syria

Israeli airstrikes target Iranian military installations in SyriaThe Israeli military on Thursday said it attacked nearly all of Iran's military installations in neighboring Syria in response to an Iranian rocket barrage on Israeli positions in the occupied Golan Heights.



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Syria airstrikes 'had limited impact' on Assad's ability to launch chemical attacks, despite Trump claims

Syria airstrikes 'had limited impact' on Assad's ability to launch chemical attacks, despite Trump claimsUS, British and French missile strikes on Syria had a limited impact on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s ability to carry out chemical weapons attacks, US assessments have reportedly shown. Donald Trump tweeted “Mission Accomplished” after the attacks, which members of his administration claimed had struck the heart of the country’s chemical weapons programme. The US, Britain and France destroyed three targets tied to Syria’s weapons programme, the most important of which was the Barzah Research and Development Centre.



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James Mattis urged Trump to seek congressional vote for US airstrikes in Syria but was overruled 'because president wanted to be seen acting on his tweets'

James Mattis urged Trump to seek congressional vote for US airstrikes in Syria but was overruled 'because president wanted to be seen acting on his tweets'US defence secretary James Mattis reportedly urged Donald Trump to seek congressional approval for airstrikes on Syria but was overruled by the president, who wanted to be seen as backing up his bellicose tweets with action. Mr Mattis warned an overly aggressive response to an alleged chemical attack in Douma risked igniting wider conflict with Russia and stressed the importance of public support for military campaigns, government officials told the New York Times.



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