AP: Israel and Iran are on a collision course but it remains to be seen whether the recent confrontation between the countries will spiral into a more protracted battle, an Israeli Middle East expert said on Thursday.

Efraim Inbar, president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, said Israel and Iran have conflicting aims in Syria, meaning they are bound to continue to clash.

"The Iranians want to establish a military presence that is threatening Israel, while Israel at the same time is trying to prevent - with the use of force - the establishment of such a presence," Inbar said.