Israeli air forces strike dozens of times in Syria

In response to the attack carried out yesterday against its territory, when 4 rockets were fired from Syria and were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, the Israeli air forces carried out, at dawn, a series of attacks on targets around Damascus, in Syria. These strikes targeted the Iranian forces of the Revolutionary Guards present there, considered by Israel to be at the origin of the numerous rocket attacks which the Jewish state has been the target of in recent months, as well as anti-defense sites. Syrian air force. The toll is still uncertain, the official Syrian agency SANA speaking of 2 victims, several other sources, including the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reporting 11 killed, including 7 Iranians. According to the Israeli authorities, this attack was carried out in “consultation” with Russia, and targets or Russian personnel could be present were avoided, like the Syrian regime's S300 missile batteries.

Last week, Israel suffered a massive rocket attack launched by Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian forces in Syria. According to the official count, more than 450 rockets were fired on Israeli towns and villages. The Iron Dome system would have destroyed 80% of “threatening” targets (i.e. 40% of the rockets fired) according to the Israeli authorities, but several rockets fell on residential areas. In retaliation, Israeli forces carried out operations in the Gaza Strip, killing 35 Palestinians, 25 of whom were identified as terrorists by Jerusalem.

Iron Dome Intercepts Rockets from the Gaza Strip Defense News | Fighter aircraft | Syrian conflict
The Iron Dome Protection System reportedly intercepted between 80 and 90% of the rockets deemed dangerous during last week's massive attack

Iran, and particularly the Revolutionary Guards, played an important role in the defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. According to reports, Iranian forces in Syria are estimated to be between 2500 and 7500, but some estimates are much higher. According to the UN, Iranian forces have lost more than 2300 men in Syria since 2015. But this active participation in the defeat of Daesh, and especially in the preservation of the power of Bashar al Assad, came at a price, that of to be able to establish military bases on Syrian soil. Some Israeli reports have observed movements that could be linked to the assembly of Iranian tactical ballistic missiles on these bases, leading to the immediate intervention of Israeli forces and their destruction.

But the presence of these bases above all provides significant logistical support to Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah, very active against Israel, particularly in the occupied territories. Thus, the Israeli government, although plunged into a deep political crisis in recent weeks with the probable organization of new legislative elections to come, has designated Tehran as responsible and sponsor of the attacks carried out by Hezbollah on its territory. In addition, destroying Syrian air defense sites, the Jewish state also means that it is ready to strike those who protect or welcome these designated officials, without going so far as to challenge Russian forces.

F35 Israeli Adir Defense News | Fighter aircraft | Syrian conflict
The Israeli air forces have reportedly been training for several months to carry out long-distance raid operations to be able to strike Iran if necessary

Interestingly, as in the case of the 2018 joint attack by US, UK and French forces on Damascus chemical facilities, Moscow stayed away from these strikes, and did not , it seems, sought to interfere, nor by its aerial means, nor by its anti-aircraft defense means or electronic warfare. Let us also recall that the Kremlin refused to deliver S400 systems or Su30 fighters to Tehran, suggesting that despite the speeches of unity of the Astana trio (Russia, Turkey and Iran), the “coalition” thus formed remains very distended, and very fragile. Furthermore, by not protecting Syrian air defenses, Russia also means that it does not intend to intervene in a military opposition that does not concern it, and that it is up to Damascus to manage its turbulent Shiite ally.

It remains to be seen what Tehran's response to these Israeli strikes will be from now on. Traditionally, the Iranian authorities prefer not to escalate against Jerusalem. But with social tensions ever increasing in Iran, the temptation to engage the country in a distant military confrontation with Israel must probably be great for the regime. And in the case of a strong Iranian response, the authorities of the Hebrew State could also be tempted to play the card of firmness, by carrying out air raids on Iran, a mission for which its air forces are actively training for many months. For both Israel and Iran, the domestic political situation may prompt a hasty recourse to more radical solutions.

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