U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, walk into the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

White House Condemns Iran Rocket Attack, Supports Israel Defense

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. said it supports Israel’s right to defend its citizens Thursday after Iran’s "provocative" rocket attacks launched from Syria amid increased tensions following President Donald Trump’s decision to quit the Iranian nuclear deal and impose broad sanctions.

In a statement, the White House said Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps bears responsibility for "reckless actions" and called on that force as well as its proxies, including Hezbollah, to make no additional provocations.

Israel responded by conducting its biggest raid inside Syria in at least 30 years, saying Iranian forces there fired a barrage of missiles at the Israeli-held section of the Golan Heights.

"The United States condemns the Iranian regime’s provocative rocket attacks from Syria against Israeli citizens, and we strongly support Israel’s right to act in self-defense," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. "The Iranian regime’s deployment into Syria of offensive rocket and missile systems aimed at Israel is an unacceptable and highly dangerous development for the entire Middle East."

The statement also called on all nations to "make clear" that Iran’s attack is a threat to international peace and stability. A showdown had seemed inevitable between the two Middle East powers. Israel has been warning against Iran’s growing influence in Syria, and Iran had vowed to retaliate for deadly suspected Israeli air strikes last month on Iranian positions there.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.