Israeli Jet on Mission over Syria.
Israeli warplanes struck Syrian and Iranian military targets in Syria destroying threatening surface-to-air weapons system and killed several fighters and civilians, Syrian state media reported in what appeared to be a stepping up of Israel’s campaign to thwart Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and stop weapon transfers to Lebanon.
The targets included the headquarters of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of Iran in the south of the Syrian capital, Damascus; a scientific research center in the countryside around the city; and positions held by Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese group, in the mountains near the border with Lebanon, the Observatory said.
The Hezbollah sites that were targeted included ammunition warehouses, resulting in explosions and huge fires, the Observatory reported.
Israel’s military and government officials declined to comment, in line with their usual policy of ambiguity, an approach intended to avoid forcing the government of Bashar al-Assad or his allies into retaliating.
The attack came amid tensions in the region between Iran and the United States over sanctions and recent Iranian terror plots, and just hours before the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran had surpassed a key limitation on how much nuclear fuel it can possess.
Last week, Israel hosted an extraordinary meeting of the national security advisers of Israel, Russia and the United States that was planned long before the recent rise in tensions. Iran and Hezbollah, both archenemies of Israel, together with Russia, have helped Assad of Syria gain the upper hand in a civil war that began in 2011.
Opening that trilateral meeting in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel pressed for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria, in particular those of Iran and Iranian proxies near the frontier with Israel.
The Prime Minister said Israel had acted “hundreds of times” to prevent Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and the transfer of weapons and will continue to do so.