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Israeli PM warns of "painful price" after rocket fire from Lebanon

  Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that his country will exact "a painful price" from anyone who tries to harm it after two rockets from Lebanon were fired into Israel.

In a public speech in northern Israel, Bennett said Lebanon was "on the verge of collapse," adding "we will not allow the situation in Lebanon to spread to Israel."

"Anyone who tries to harm us will pay a painful price," he said.

Earlier in the day, two rockets were launched from Lebanon into Israel. The Israeli military said in a statement that its Iron Dome Air Defense System intercepted one rocket and the other fell in an open area.

In response, Israel fired artillery toward southern Lebanon.

No injuries or damage has been reported on both sides.

Syria's air defences on Monday intercepted an Israeli attack on Al-Safirah area of southern Aleppo, Syrian state media reported, a location where Israel has repeatedly hit a growing Iranian presence.

A Syrian military spokesman told state media the damage was being assessed after air defences downed most of the missiles that targeted a number of unspecified locations.

The airstrikes are the first since a new Israeli government led by Naftali Bennett came to power last month.

Bennett has vowed to maintain his predecessor's policy of containment of Iran's military expansion in Syria, a development Israel's defence establishment says has upset the region's strategic balance.

Syrian opposition forces said the airstrikes targeted Iranian Revolutionary Guard bases and a weapons plant, in a continuation of Israeli attacks against Iranian military research and development activities over the past year.

The Syrian regime has never acknowledged the strikes are aimed at Iranian assets, which it has said are limited to some advisors.

However, Syrian military sources say Iran has a strong presence in the province in northern Syria, including elite Revolutionary Guard officers at the Kuweires military air base 30 kilometers east of the city.

An Israeli army spokesperson said the Israeli military does not comment on foreign reports. Israeli officials have said earlier missile strikes slowed Iran’s entrenchment in Syria.

Explosions were heard across Aleppo, which was Syria's most populated urban centre and a commercial and industrial powerhouse before the war.

Authorities said work was underway to repair the main electricity cable to the city after a direct hit cut power.

Western intelligence sources say Israeli strikes on Syria are part of a shadow war approved by the United States and part of a policy to undermine Iran's military power without triggering a major increase in hostilities.

Washington recently carried out strikes against facilities belonging to Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria in response to rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq.

The Pentagon earlier this month said it was deeply concerned about a series of retaliatory attacks on U.S. personnel based in the northeast of the country who came under fire from Iranian backed militias operating in the area that borders Iraq.

Thousands of Iranian-backed militias have had a growing presence across Syria in the last year after helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regain territory once lost to insurgents.

Reuters, Xinhua

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