Damascus, the Syrian capital, has been struck for the second consecutive night
Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) said Monday on Twitter they have started striking Iranian targets inside Syria, they are targeting elite units of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, known as The Quds, as well as Syrian air defenses. They did not give any other details but warned Syrian Armed Forces not to harm any Israeli forces or Israeli territory.
The Twitter statement is a surprising break with protocol for the Israeli military known to always try and keep a low profile regarding its involvement in the Syrian civil war. But this comes as a calculated response after Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile shield intercepted a rocket attack targeting the Golan Heights on Sunday, forcing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to issue a warning himself:
“We have a permanent policy to strike at the Iranian entrenchment in Syria and hurt whoever tries to hurt us.”
According to Syrian military the IDF began intensive air strikes shortly after 1 a.m. local time, but reports say that the Syrian air defenses successfully prevented the attack and protected the international airport south of Damascus. They said 5 missiles were intercepted and a 6th one was diverted, but it was reported that four Syrian soldiers were killed and six were wounded.
Iran has said it has no plans to quit Syria, where Iran is helping Syrian’s President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s civil war. Also, Prime Minister Netanyahu has claimed that Israel destroyed hundreds of Iran-linked objectives in Syria, including a weapon facility linked to Hezbollah two weeks ago. While in May last year, Israel said it almost destroyed Iran’s entire military infrastructure inside Syria in its biggest assault since the start of the Syrian civil war 8 years ago