Israel attacks Syria, targeting Iranian forces after finding explosives on border
On Wednesday, Israel attacked Syria with an aim to kill Iranian forces, who it believed planted explosives on the border. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, confirmed that at least ten people were killed in Israeli air raids including five Iranians from the elite Quds Force, as well as at least two militiamen. Though a Syrian officials, who represented the alliance of the two regional forces backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s rule, denied the presence of Iranians or Lebanese among the casualties. The Syrian state-owned media agency reported that three military personnel died and one got wounded in the attack.
Israeli strikes specifically targeted installations operated by the Quds Force, the elite military unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and by the Iran-backed Hezbollah militia. Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said that his country targeted eight sites to hit, covering a wide area, ranging from the Syrian-controlled side of the Golan Heights to the fringes of Damascus. He added that Israel’s targets also included an Iranian headquarters at Damascus international airport, a “secret military site” where Iranian military delegations and the 7th Division of the Syrian armed forces, took refuge.
Israel used the attack to send a clear message to Assad and Iranian regime of its preparedness for an offensive-defensive combat, despite the stepping down of US President Donald Trump. Also, Israel wanted to expose involvement of Iranian forces in Syria, which Assad officially refuses to accept.
Syrian media labelled the recent attack as “Israeli aggression”. Israel has a history of attacking Iranian-backed militia in Syria over the past few years, but the current attack has been the most accurate in terms of targets and widest in terms of range. Western intelligence sources called it a shadow war to reduce Iran’s influence in the region.