JERUSALEM — Israeli warplanes struck Iran-connected goals in Syria immediately after troops discovered roadside bombs across the frontier from the Golan Heights, the Israeli army said Wednesday.
A Syrian warfare observation team said the strikes killed 10, including both Syrian soldiers and at least five Iranians. The report couldn’t be independently confirmed, and also an undercover official denied that any Iranians were killed in the strikes.
Israel has established countless attacks against Iran-linked military goals in Syria over the decades but seldom acknowledges or discusses these surgeries. This time, officials seemed keen to market the discovery of these bombs and the retaliatory strikes as a message to Iran and Syria.
“I, yet more, remind our enemies: Israel won’t tolerate any breach of its sovereignty on the front,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement. “The Syrian regime is liable for what happens on its land or from its land.”
U.S. officials recently confirmed that Israel and the U.S. worked together to kill a mature al-Qaeda operative in Iran earlier this season.
Israelis are concerned that President-elect Joe Biden will embrace a more conciliatory approach toward Iran. Biden has said he expects to reunite the U.S. into Iran’s 2015 atomic agreement with world forces, to which Israel was staunchly opposed.
The Israeli army said that the anti-personnel mines were placed close to one of its positions in the Golan Heights with a”Syrian team headed by Iranian forces” It stated a similar incident occurred in precisely the same place in August, which also prompted retaliatory strikes on Syria.
Israel reported the most recent strikes targeted websites belonging to Iran’s elite Quds Force along with the Syrian army, such as”storage centers, headquarters and army chemicals,” along with Allied anti-aircraft missile batteries.
“It’s evident that the message we wanted to express past time was not clear enough, perhaps not to the Iranians rather than into the Syrian regime,” Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli army spokesman, said. “We expect that the message is clear”
Conricus explained the strikes targeted at the Iranian army headquarters in Syria in the Damascus airport, a key facility that hosts visiting Iranian army officers along with the Syrian military’s 7th Division, which manages the Allied side of the Golan Heights.
Syrian state media quoted an unnamed military official as saying the strikes killed three soldiers, injured a fourth, and caused material harm. The report added that Syrian air defenses shot down a number of their Israeli missiles before they reach their targets.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated the strikes hit an air defense center, articles, and ammunition warehouses such as Iran-allied militias in and about the Damascus airport, in addition to some other targets to the southeast of the funding.
The Observatory stated a total of 10 individuals were killed, including at least five Iranians considered to be connected with all the Quds Force.
A military adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Israeli strikes were a breach of Syria’s sovereignty.
“How do they say we struck a foundation belonging to Iran or Iran affiliates?”
He refused any Iranians were killed, stating just Syrians were current in the targeted sites.
Israel views Iran as its biggest threat and states it won’t tolerate the formation of a permanent Iranian army presence in Syria, particularly close to its boundaries. Iran is an integral ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad from the nation’s civil war, and it has dispatched military consultants and allied militias to help its forces.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move that isn’t internationally recognized.
On Oct. 21, Syrian state media reported that a supposed Israeli rocket attack in the southern Quneitra province. The Observatory said three people were killed in the attack that targeted a college employed by the Hezbollah militant type and European teams.