Israeli fighter jets have struck military targets belonging to the Iranian Quds Force and the Syrian army early Wednesday. The attack damaged warehouses, command posts and military complexes, and batteries of surface-to-air missiles, the IDF said in a statement.
The IDF claimed that the Iran-led Syrian squad had placed an improvised explosive device by the Alpha Line to hit Israeli troops on the Israel-Syria border.
The Syrian regime’s anti-air systems reportedly tried to intercept the attack. Israel has deployed its Iron Dome air defense system to the north, placing ground troops on high alert, although the country is not expecting any response to the strikes.
What Iran & Syria did: placed improvised explosive devices by the Alpha Line to hit Israeli troops.
What we did: just struck Iranian Quds Force & Syrian Armed Forces targets in Syria.
We stand prepared to operate against Iranian entrenchment in Syria.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 18, 2020
According to Jerusalem Post, the Israeli strikes hit eight targets from the Golan Heights to Damascus including an Iranian military complex near Damascus International Airport, a military site which acts as a housing complex for senior Iranian officials, a command post for Division 7 of the Syrian army and trucks which acted as launchers for advanced surface-to-air missiles.
According to IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman, quoted by JP, the improvised explosive devices discovered yesterday were planted several weeks ago by local Syrians under the command of Iranian Quds Force.
Syria’s local media reported that the Syrian air defenses had intercepted many of the missiles launched by Israel towards the capital city.
The report of the killing of three military personnel was confirmed by the media; however, it was unclear whether the casualties were Syrian or Iranian-backed troops.
The tensions between Israel and Iran have heightened after their repeated confrontations in Syria, and the Israeli opposition to Iranian and Iranian-backed Hezbollah entrenchment near the Golan Heights in Syria and recent tensions, since July, with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Israel has been resisting Iran’s rising aspirations of regional hegemony and has carried out strikes against Iranian assets in Syria, in what it claims is to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon and the entrenchment of its forces in Syria where they could easily act against Israel.
The Iran-backed Hezbollah has been trying to establish its permanent presence in southern Syria on the Golan Heights, and Israel has always tried to prevent that through deadly airstrikes.