Are the US and Iran already at war?
But let's start in the middle east where tensions have been rising between the u._s. and iran could the u._s. Already fighting iran indirectly israel has struck hundreds of iranian targets in syria defense experts say it has recently expanded those operations into iraq with the blessing of the united states. Here's our middle east correspondent eric tort check. It was israel's regional cooperation minister sake henegbi. Who said it the knife you davos <unk> personal time for two years. Now israel spain the only country in the world killing iranians. He told the public broadcast dot com last last month. Israel has been heating uranium targets in syria way iranian troops of fighting alongside the syrian government forces of president bush allah saad israel says it also targets weapons shipments from iran to the shiite militant group hezbollah which also sent fighters to syria israel's air force enjoys always a superiority in syria and has an arrangement with russia whose air forces helping the syrian government that allows it to operate with relative impunity israel's israel's strikes at deadly for iranian soldiers hezbollah militants and occasionally. If assyrian soldiers posted alongside them all manning a defense batteries some some analysts say the strikes have severely constrained iran's attempt to entrench itself in syria and create a front line there against israel but recently israel's been attacking attacking iranian targets much further afield in iraq according to arab news outlets and domestic defense analysts iranian backed shiite muslim militias operate alright in much of iraq some came to fight saddam hussein others to fight the u._s. Military still more came late to fight the islamic state terrorist group. They've become a powerful entrenched iranian presence in a country that used to be iran's worst enemy. That's raised concerns in israel and the united states about about iran transporting ballistic missiles into iraq with a view to targeting israel and saudi arabia the reported israeli strikes targeted iranian basis which had received ballistic missiles smuggled in through food supply shipments and other covert means such as the new front in israel's ongoing quiet war against iran according to who'd you ari the middle east correspondent for israel's channel twelve one of the country's most experienced defense and foreign policy journalists as a result of one eighty percent of the campaign against the iranian military entrenchment in syria that that is very important now we see the iranians trying to compensate for their big losses in syria by establishing some some presence in iraq and israel will keep trying to demonstrate to them that the cost is going to be very steep sleep israel's attacks serve the interests of big players like the united states and saudi arabia which wants to counter iran's influence and regional ambitions the u._s. avoided military involvement in syria's civil war but ehud yaari says that doesn't mean americans disapprove of israel's attacks on iranian assets the trump administration prefers to if you want subcontract stopping the iranian expansion expansionists the movements <hes> do the israeli air force rather than do it with themselves. Always the cooperation author coalition may members the attacks on doubtedly have an effect both iran and syria have publicly acknowledged their impact although iraq has been silent about at the recent strikes inside its territory continued israeli strikes could be seen as another element of what the united states kohl's its maximum pressure campaign against tehran. It means the u._s. Supposing iran through economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure while israel takes complimentary military action even though attention has been dangerously high between the u._s. and doron after a tax on oil tankers and the shooting down of unmanned surveillance aircraft ehud yaari says both both countries would prefer to fight indirectly rather than risk open conflict. It is the real war that is. I think what we are seeing now. The kind of operations that the israeli air force is mounting the kind of reactions by the iranians. I think this is the real confrontation and it's not going to become an all-out flare other countries in the region of being much more cautious. The united arab emirates has taken steps to distance distance itself from its allies saudi arabia and even from the u._s. By sending delegations to iran and avoiding accusing the iranian military of attacking oil tankers his even though iran is threatening to further reduce its compliance with the international nuclear control deal at the heart of these current tensions european nations and its original neighbors have been reluctant to take any action in response. The debate about iran is not really about its nuclear program. If it was the u._s. would have remained part of the nuclear control deal. It's all about conflicts outside. Iran sport is the syrian civil war support for who the rebels fighting saudi arabia abia in yemen iran's funding and arming of hezbollah in lebanon and the aforementioned militias in iraq the u._s. israel and saudi arabia badly want to constrain constrain iran's regional involvement and it seems israel is the one taking direct military action to do so. It's something to bear in mind if you're concerned that a single misteps step in these tents times could lead to a war. There's already a conflict underway. You probably just haven't heard about it air torture reporting there from jerusalem.