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Iran withdraws officers out of Syria due to Israel’s potential strike — newspaper

The report said that the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement is also reducing the number of its officers in Syria

NEW YORK, April 17. /TASS/. Iran has decided to reduce the number of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) military advisers in Syria over fears of a potential Israeli response to the recent Iranian missile and drone attack on Israel, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.

According to the newspaper’s sources in the Syrian intelligence services, the IRGC has withdrawn only senior military advisers from Syria, with mid-level officers remaining in the country but changing location. The newspaper pointed out that Iranian soldiers move at night, when Israeli strikes are most likely. The newspaper also said that the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement, Iran’s regional ally, is also reducing the number of its officers in Syria.

According to the Wall Street Journal, an attack on Iranian facilities in Syria would allow Israel to launch a "retaliatory strike" while avoiding a full-scale war in the region. Arab officials told the newspaper that Jerusalem’s strike could be limited, and that Israel would likely warn its regional Arab allies before retaliating against Iran.

On the evening of April 13, Iran launched drones and missiles toward Israel in response to what it called "repeated crimes" from Tel Aviv, including the attack on the consular office of the Iranian Embassy in Damascus ascribed to Israel. Tehran’s state-run media outlets said that military facilities in Israel were targeted. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed it intercepted 99% of the nearly 350 projectiles launched at Israel with minor damage caused to Nevatim airbase.