Syria's capital of Damascus shook with sounds of explosions just before dawn, and firing by Syrian air defenses over the city was heard throughout the night.
Israel said among the targets were weapons storage, logistics sites, and intelligence centers used by elite Iranian forces in Syria.
The worst-case scenario, he said, is that the conflict spreads to Lebanon and Hezbollah decides to launch rockets into Israel from there and Israel responds as it has to the attacks from Syria.
Israel has long warned it will not accept Iran entrenching itself militarily in Syria.
Mark Dubowitz, chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank, said the war in Iraq resulted partly from a perception that economic sanctions on Saddam, imposed after his 1990 invasion of Kuwait, were rapidly losing effectiveness.
Iran could directly attack Israel or alternatively activate its proxy Hezbollah.
"This event is not over", he said.
Al-Ikhbariya TV said Israel also targeted military posts in southern Suweida province, including an air base, and struck near Homs in central Syria.
Marandi said Iranians did not seem to have been among the casualties in Thursday morning s attacks.
The targets were Israeli military positions - not civilian areas.
Syrian media said it was the first time in years that Syrians had fired at Israeli forces in the Golan Heights.
The strikes come after the Syrian army late Tuesday said it intercepted two Israeli missiles, while the Observatory said eight Iranians were among 15 foreign pro-regime fighters killed in that attack.
It said it was not immediately clear if Iranians were among those killed. Israel, as it has typically done in similar incidents, neither confirmed nor denied a role.
The remains of an Iranian drone that was shot down by the Israeli Air Force after it penetrated Israeli airspace on February 10, 2018. "Increased US pressure on Iran has certainly helped Israel fulfill its agenda".
Israel said it had attacked almost all of Iran's military infrastructure in Syria on Thursday after Iranian forces fired rockets at Israeli-held territory for the first time, in the most extensive military exchange ever between the two adversaries.
Both Russia and Iran have intervened in war-torn Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad. But Israel and Russian Federation have maintained close communications to prevent their air forces from coming into conflict.
He noted that in contacts with the leadership of both countries, including a meeting Wednesday between Putin and Netanyahu, "we underlined the necessity of avoiding any actions that might be mutually provocative".
The Quds Force, an external arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, carried out the rocket salvo, Israel said.
It was only a matter of time before Iran pushed back, said Wimmen.
The president charged that the deal, negotiated under his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, did not address Iran's ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 or its role in conflicts in Yemen and Syria.
Danny Ayalon, former Israeli Ambassador to the USA, on how Iran launched more than 20 rockets into the Golan Heights, territory claimed by Israel.
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