image Photo: Reuters, Flash90

IDF strikes Syria after earlier attack

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) conducted a series of precision bombardments on Syrian military installations in the southwestern countryside of the al-Quneitra Governorate and the Al-Ahmar hill, located along the internationally recognized armistice line with the Jewish State.

According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, ‘the aerial attack came as a response to an attempt by four unidentified assailants to place improvised explosive devices on the Israeli security barrier a day prior.’

The IDF noted in its statement that “fighter jets, attack helicopters and aircraft struck military targets in southern Syria, belonging to the Syrian Armed Forces(SAF),” while further specifying that “The targets struck include observation posts and intelligence collection systems, anti-aircraft artillery facilities and command and control systems in SAF bases.”

Syrian military sources confirmed that the Israeli aerial strike occurred at 10.40 PM and resulted in “some material losses,” after the Arab Republic’s aerial defense systems failed to intercept the numerous incoming projectiles.

It remains unclear whether there were any Syrian casualties as a result of the Israeli retaliatory attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized Jerusalem’s resolve to do whatever necessary in order to defend the state of Israel. Speaking to the press during a visit to the IDF Home Front Command’s Operational Headquarters to deal with the relentless spread of the coronavirus, Netanyahu reiterated his warning to Israel’s enemies. “We hit the cell and now we also struck those that sent them. We will do whatever we deem necessary in order to defend ourselves,” said the Israeli leader, underscoring that, “I advise everyone, including Hezbollah, to take this into account. These are not words without substance; these are statements with heavy weight of both the State of Israel and IDF. It is advised that they take it seriously.”

Israeli security officials informed TV7 that the level of preparedness along the northern front, including Lebanon in particular, remains high. They also reiterated that the security establishment leveled a warning to the Beirut government, ‘any attack against Israeli sovereignty, civilians or troops would elicit a retaliatory response that would devastate the state of Lebanon as a whole.’

Meanwhile, unidentified aircraft conducted intensive aerial bombardments targeting Iranian positions in the eastern countryside of Syria’s Deir Ezzor Governorate.

According to several reports corroborated by TV7, militant installations operated by Iranian-proxy militias in areas near al-Sekka, Albu Kamal and the Imam Ali base sustained devastating damage – including at least 15 casualties classified by intelligence sources as “non-Syrian operatives.”

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights cited local sources who noted that “Military vehicles affiliated to the targeted forces have transported dead and injured militiamen to Iraq, while the Iranian forces in Al-Bokamal are now on high alert amassing more troops.”

It is important to mention that while the targeted area of operations has been subject to past Israeli activities to thwart the Islamic Republic of Iran from entrenching militarily in Syria, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit neither confirmed nor denied involvement in response to TV7 request for comment.

However, it is interesting to note that the IAF just concluded a joint exercise with the U.S. Air Forces Central Command – the second of this year – as part of the two nation’s defense cooperation program.

In a written statement, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit highlighted that as part of the drill, “the 421st Squadron of the US Air Force, which operates the F-35 fighter jet, trained alongside the (IAF) 140th Squadron, which operates the “Adir” (F-35i) fighter jet,” and the 122nd Squadron which operates the ‘Nachshon’ aircraft and is responsible for conducting air traffic control. “The exercise took place in southern Israel, where advanced 5th generation Israeli and American F-35 fighter jets trained to deal with various aerial and ground strategic threats. The forces worked together as a team with joint communications in order to locate and neutralize each threat,” added the statement.

The IDF further stressed that “The two air forces maintain close cooperation, including mutual learning and sharing of lessons learned. This exercise illustrates the close relationship between the air forces and military echelons and enhances the cooperation of knowledge and capabilities of the F-35 and the Israeli Air Force’s operational abilities.”