The battle to push Iran out of Syria escalates

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"This is certainly the case after the end of Israel's ambiguous policy of claiming the military actions and its readiness to take direct responsibility for attacks on Iranian targets in Syria".

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) says its operation is against the Quds Force - a elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

It provided no details.

The Hermon ski resort will reopen on Tuesday, after closing to visitors Monday following clashes between Israel and Iranian forces in Syria on Sunday.

Israel has only recently acknowledged carrying out hundreds of strikes against Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria in recent years.

Israel sees the presence of Iran-linked forces in Syria, which rallied to back President Bashar al-Assad in the country's civil war, as a red line.

SANA, Syrian state media, said Israel had launched guided missiles in successive land and air strikes, and that most of the missiles had been shot down.

The Russian military also said infrastructure at Damascus International Airport sustained partial damage as a result of the Israeli strikes Sunday and Monday.

Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh was quoted as saying by the Young Journalist Club, a website supervised by state television: "The young people in the air force are fully ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth".

Renewed Israeli airstrikes have demonstrated the ineffectiveness of Syria's new Russian-made air defense systems.

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"During the strike, dozens of Syrian surface-to-air missiles were launched, despite clear warnings to avoid such fire".

The announcement marks a rare departure from Israel's years-long policy of ambiguity regarding activities in neighbouring Syria.

He stressed that the strikes were a reaction to the attack against the State of Israel.

The chain of events sparked concerns of an escalation after a monitor reported 11 fighters killed in the overnight Israeli strikes. This short round can end now if the Iranians choose to do so, or it can develop into a situation which Israel is contending with on the border with Gaza, in which there are short and repeated flair-ups.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday's pre-dawn strikes lasted for almost an hour and were the most intense Israeli attacks since May.

However, it added that Syrian air defences destroyed most missiles before they hit their targets.

He said "the next generation of Iranian soldiers are learning the skills for the doomsday when they will destroy Israel".

Looking ahead, Israel's shadow war against Iranian entrenchment in Syria looks like it could head in one of three main directions.

The Golan Heights has been an area of tension between Israel and Syria for decades.

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