The head of Iran’s air force has said the Islamic Republic’s pilots are eager to fight with Israel and will “eliminate it from the earth” in the wake of fresh Israeli strikes inside Syria and amid escalating tensions between the two regional rivals.
Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh said Monday that Iran and its air force were ready for a confrontation with Israel. “The young people in the air force are fully ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth,” he said according to Reuters which quoted a state-linked news website.
Nasirzadeh’s warnings follow airstrikes by Israel against targets near Damascus in a massive overnight bombardment. According to the Times of Israel the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have said the strikes against an Iranian weapons depot, intelligence facility and a training camp were of a retaliatory nature, a response to what Israel alleges was an Iranian missile attack targeting a ski resort in Hermon, Sunday.
Throughout the war in neighboring Syria, Israel has regularly intervened to prevent Tehran’s expansion in the beleaguered country. Israel has said Iran has sought to gain a foothold in Syria through the international arm of its Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the al-Quds brigade, as well as through its Lebanese proxy force Hezbollah.