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Iran Defends Syria After Israeli Missile Strikes

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Bahram Ghasemi speaks during an interview with Tasnim new agency on Wednesday, July 12, 2017.

Iran has strongly condemned Israel’s missile strikes on Iranian targets inside Syria.

In its first official reaction to the incident, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on May 11 that Syria has the right to defend itself against aggression from Israel.

Israel said it had attacked nearly all of Iran's military infrastructure in Syria on May 10 after Iranian forces fired rockets at Israeli-held territory for the first time.

The confrontation came two days after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 multinational agreement aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear program.

"Iran strongly condemns...[Israel's] attacks on Syria. The international community's silence encourages Israel's aggression. Syria has every right to defend itself," Ghasemi was quoted as saying by official Iranian media.

The escalation of tensions between the two longtime adversaries has sparked international concerns.

The leader of the U.S. Central Command, General Joseph Votel, said Iran's attempts to strike Israeli targets were "highly dangerous."

During a visit to Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe, on May 11, Votel said Iran was raising the stakes "for miscalculation and conflict" in the Middle East.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged an immediate halt to "all hostile acts" to avoid "a new conflagration" in the Middle East.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters