Israeli leaders issued new threats against Tehran following large-scale military strikes on Iranian targets in Syria overnight Tuesday, with Israel's defence minister saying even Tehran's leaders are "not immune".
In a rare confirmation of their operations in Syria, the Israeli army said they carried out dozens of strikes against the Iranian elite Quds' Force and the Syrian military, in response to four rockets fired at Israel a day before.
At least 11 "fighters" were killed in the strikes, said UK-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
"The rules have changed: Whoever fires at Israel during the day will not sleep at night. That was the case last week and it is the case this week," new hardline defence minister Naftali Bennett said, according to The Times of Israel.
"Our message to the leaders of Iran is simple: You are not immune anymore. Wherever you send your octopus tentacles, we will hack them off".
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of the strike: "I have made clear that anyone who attacks us, we will attack them. That is what we did tonight toward military targets of the Iranian Quds Force and Syrian military targets in Syria."
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said Tuesday's rockets were fired from positions around the Syrian capital held by groups loyal to the Damascus regime.
The flare-up follows a major escalation in and around Gaza last week when Israel killed a top commander of Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, which is allied with Damascus.
The killing was accompanied by a second strike, unconfirmed by Israel, on an Islamic Jihad leader in Damascus that killed his son and another person.
The hundreds of strikes carried out by Israel in Syria have mostly been against Iranian targets or positions of Iran's Lebanese ally, Shia militant group Hezbollah.
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