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In the immediate wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement that America is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, Israel reportedly carried out airstrikes in Syria and began mobilizing its defense forces over what it claimed were "abnormal movements of Iranian forces."
BREAKING: Syrian TV reports Israeli airstrike near the capital Damascus, says air defenses shot down two missiles.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 8, 2018
While the Israeli army said it fears Iran "is planning to carry out an imminent strike from Syria," critics were quick to cast serious doubt on this warning and argue it appears that Israel is the one attempting to pick a fight with Iran.
This is such bullshit. Carrying out a strike from Syria is absolutely not what Iran will do. Israel, not Iran, is the reckless aggressor in this situation. https://t.co/rI2cV5AWgP
— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) May 8, 2018
Looks like Israel is preparing to strike Iranian targets in Syria again, seems they want to provoke Iran into firing back. Imagine if Iran regularly fired at Israeli military posts, the world would lose its mind. But in Israel’s case, Iran (and Syria) are expected 2 just take it https://t.co/SZLDZgHeLz
— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) May 8, 2018
Within an hour of Trump’s announcement on Iran reports of Israel air strikes against targets in Syria. Hardly a coincidence.
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— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) May 8, 2018
Israel's airstrikes came just hours after Trump's speech officially announcing U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear accord, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to applaud as "brave."
In a tweet shortly after Trump's announcement, Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, predicted that "Israel is going to try very hard to goad Iran into an escalation."
"They have been laying the groundwork for months," Munayyer wrote.