Why Israel is waging a shadow war with Iran’s IRGC in Syria

Israeli airstrikes on Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria have been growing in scale and frequency in recent months as Tehran seeks to cement its hold over Syrian seaports, airports, and overland smuggling routes.

From the Israeli standpoint, Iran’s ability to deliver precision-guided missile technology to Syrian territory via these routes poses a serious strategic threat, allowing Iran and its Hezbollah proxies to attack from short range at short notice in the event of a regional war.

Israel does not always claim responsibility for its strikes on sensitive Syrian facilities controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, giving it a measure of plausible deniability to avoid open conflict or Syrian retaliation.

The country is nevertheless thought to be behind scores of recent strikes across Syrian regime territories, from the capital Damascus and the coastal province of Latakia in the northwest to Deir el-Zour in the east.

Latakia was struck twice in December amid suspicions the IRGC was using the port to move precision-guided weapons.

The resulting fireball following one such strike revealed just how much dangerous material Iran was attempting to transfer to its regional terror network.

Benny Gantz, Israel’s defense minister, issued a stark warning to Iran following the Latakia strikes, vowing that “game-changing” weapons were a red line and Israel would not allow their proliferation.

However, the strikes do not appear to have deterred Iran.

“Preventing Iranian entrenchment in Syria is probably impossible.

The question is the rate and quantity of Iranian entrenchment and the quality of this entrenchment,” Tal Beeri, head of the research department at the Alma Research and Education Center in Israel, told Arab News.

“Israel does this without plunging the region into war by attacking only armaments and almost completely refraining from attacking commanders.

Latest news
Related news