The tense situation on Israel’s northern frontier has escalated in the past 48 hours, during which the Israeli Air Force conducted one of its deadliest air-raids against Iranian and Syrian targets in Israel’s northern war-torn neighbor. The situation initially deteriorated on Sunday morning, when an alleged Israeli air-strike attacked Iranian targets in a southern region of Syria. According to a Syrian military source, who was quoted by the state-run SANA news agency, “Syrian air Defenses confronted an Israeli aerial attack (which) targeted the southern region and prevented it from achieving any of its objectives.” While the IDF spokesperson’s unit refused at the time to respond to TV7’s request for comment; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shortly thereafter, before boarding a plane back to Israel after a historic visit to the African Republic of Chad, reiterated Jerusalem’s policy “to strike at the Iranian entrenchment in Syria and hurt whoever tries to hurt (the Jewish state).” “We have a permanent policy, to strike at the Iranian entrenchment in Syria and hurt whoever tries to hurt us. This policy doesn’t change when I’m in Israel nor when I’m on a historic visit to Chad. It’s permanent,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Several hours after the alleged Israeli strike, a surface-to-surface missile was fired from Syria toward Israel’s northern Golan Heights region. According to the IDF spokesperson’s unit, an Iron Dome anti-rocket Defense System intercepted the missile. An Israeli military source told TV7 that the Iron Dome battery fired several missiles at the incoming projectile, which indicated that the incoming missile was of a medium-range capacity and carried a heavy warhead that weighed nearly half-a-ton. The source further underscored that the missile attack was viewed as a deliberate attempt by Iranian forces in Syria to harm Israeli civilians, at a time when thousands of Israeli vacationers visited the Mount Hermon ski site, which was opened only a few days ago. That is why, following a situation assessment, a decision was made to close the Mount Hermon site to the public. That said, no special instructions have been given to residents of the Golan Heights.
While a tense quiet prevailed for several hours yesterday evening, around 1 AM, the Israeli Air Force launched a massive bombardment of Iranian targets across Syria. In an official statement, the IDF spokesperson’s unit revealed that it destroyed munition storage sites, a site located in the Damascus international Airport, along with an intelligence site and a military training camp, all belonging to the Iranian Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards. The IDF further noted that “During the (Israeli) strike, dozens of Syrian surface-to-air missiles were launched, despite clear warnings to avoid such fire.” In response, the Israeli Air Force targeted several of the Syrian Armed Forces’ aerial defense batteries. The Israeli Military emphasized that it “will continue to operate determinedly to thwart Iranian entrenchment in Syria,” and warned the Syrian regime against targeting Israel or permitting others to target the Jewish state – as “the IDF holds the Syrian regime responsible for everything taking place within Syria.”
In response to the Israeli attack, the Syrian state news agency reported that the Israeli attack was carried out from Lebanese airspace, as well as from the Galilee panhandle and the Sea of Galilee area. According to that report, the Syrian “anti-aircraft batteries stopped the attack one hundred percent, contrary to the previous (Israeli attack), during which 90% of the missiles were intercepted.” Contrary to the Syrian report, however, TV7 received footage from the IDF – which clearly indicated the successful targeting of both Iranian and Syrian targets. Furthermore, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that at least 11 pro-regime forces were killed during the Israeli bombardment, while Syrian witnesses in Damascus confirmed that loud explosions rang out during the night for nearly an hour.
It is also important to note that an Iranian plane en route to the Damascus international airport was instructed mid-flight to return to Tehran. Furthermore, the Commander of Iran’s air force said this morning in response to the Israeli bombardment of Iranian targets in Syria, that the Islamic Republic was growing impatient to fight Israel and destroy it. On a website that is supervised by Tehran’s state television, Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh was quoted as saying: “The young people in the air force are fully ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth.”