Britain has condemned a rocket attack on the occupied Golan Heights by Iranian forces based in Syria, and said that Israel has every right to defend itself.

Downing Street called for calm on both sides and urged Tehran to refrain from further assaults.

Number 10 also urged Russia to use its influence in Syria to rein in Iranian aggression.

Iranian forces fired 20 rockets across the border at Israeli frontline military positions early on Thursday, the Israeli military said.

The attack was followed by retaliatory strikes by Israeli jets, which struck “dozens” of Iranian military installations within Syria.

Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman said the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) had “hit almost all of the Iranian infrastructure in Syria”.

But he insisted Israel had “no interest in escalation” of the situation, adding: “I hope that we have finished this chapter and that everyone got the message.”

Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman said: “We condemn Iran’s attack onIsrael. Israel has every right to defend itself.

“We call on Iran to refrain from any further attacks and for calm on all sides.

“We call on Russia to use its influence in Syria to prevent further Iranian attacks.”

There are no reports of Israeli casualties in the rocket strikes.

The Israeli military said its Iron Dome defence system intercepted some of the incoming projectiles, while others caused only minimal damage.

Mrs May reiterated her condemnation of the Iranian attacks and the UK’s support for Israel’s right to defend itself in a telephone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

At the same time, she stressed Britain’s continued support for the Iran nuclear deal – which Israel has long opposed – despite US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement.

“The Prime Minister noted our statement calling on Iran to refrain from any further attacks, and for calm on all sides,” a No 10 spokesman said.

“They agreed it was vital for the international community to continue working together to counter Iran’s destabilising regional activity, and for Russia to use its influence in Syria to prevent further Iranian attacks.

“The Prime Minister reiterated our position on the Iran nuclear deal, noting that we and our European partners remain firmly committed to ensuring the deal is upheld, as the best way of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”

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