Israel’s battle against Iran
The wide-scale strikes occurred in the early hours of Wednesday, November 19. Israeli security officials said that 16 targets of the al-Quds Force and its affiliated Shi’ite militia were hit, including warehouses and missiles near Damascus International Airport, as well as in southern Syria and in other parts of the country.
Several anti-aircraft batteries were also damaged after Syrian forces failed to fire missiles to intercept the Israel planes. Yet it is worth noting that the IAF was very cautious and refrained from targeting the advanced Syrian S-300 ground- to-air aircraft batteries which are still manned by Russian personnel. In the past, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would not have hesitated to attack even the S-300 batteries, which were delivered to Syria six months ago. But it’s clear that Israel doesn’t want to upset the delicate choreography of the dance in Syria between Syria, Iran and Russia.
It’s not clear how many people were killed in the raid. Syrian officials said that only two civilians died. Israeli officials said that the two killed were Iranians while the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that the Iranian casualties were higher and that 23 people, including 16 non-Syrians, most likely Iranians, were killed in the Israeli airstrikes.
Israeli military officials explained that the strikes were in response to four rockets fired by an Iranian unit into the Israeli-held Golan Heights near Mount Hermon, which were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-aircraft battery.
But the Iranian rocket launch seems to be just an excuse. This is part of a much larger tit-for-tat campaign. It is more and more evident that Israel and Iran – supplemented by its allies, Hezbollah and other Shi’ite militias – are involved in a much wider confrontation, which is expanding all the time.
The erosion process has been incremental but unavoidable. Israel began attacking Syrian and Hezbollah targets in Syria as early as 2013. It was the first stage. Under the fog and chaos of the bloody civil war in the country, IAF fighter planes and bombers struck more than 800 times over the years since.
Read more at: JPost
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