Syria: at least ten dead in Israeli strikes against Iranian targets

The Israeli army carried out retaliatory airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria early Wednesday morning, killing at least ten people, according to an NGO. They follow the discovery of explosives along the border between the two countries, in a de facto area located in the north of the Hebrew state.

These incidents also took place a few hours before the scheduled arrival in Israel of US foreign minister Mike Pompeo and Bahrain’s foreign minister, who are expected to discuss the Iranian dossier with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

At least ten fighters, including three officers of the Syrian air defense and foreign paramilitaries, were killed in the strikes carried out by Israel on Wednesday in Syria, according to an assessment provided by an NGO. Among these ten dead are five paramilitaries “probably of Iranian nationality, who belong to the Quds Force”, indicated the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (OSDH). The Quds Force is an elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards responsible for foreign operations.

“Secret site”

“What Iran and Syria did: They placed improvised explosive devices near the Alpha Line to hit Israeli troops. What we did: We just hit targets of the Iranian Quds Force and the Syrian armed forces in Syria, ”the IDF wrote in a statement.

The Israeli forces notably targeted the “Iranian headquarters” in Syria, a “secret site” hosting “delegations of senior Iranian officials”, the 7th division of the Syrian army and surface-to-air missile batteries, declared his spokesperson Jonathan Conricus on a conference call.

“We hope that the message is clear and that it is unacceptable for the Syrian regime to allow, tolerate and facilitate the use by Iranian forces of Syria as a launching pad for attacks against Israel,” added Jonathan Conricus, adding that the strikes extended from the border to the outskirts of Damascus.

Missiles shot down

The official Syrian news agency Sana announced shortly after that at least “three soldiers” had been killed in these strikes by “the Zionist enemy” which also caused “material damage”. According to a “military source” quoted by Sana, the Syrian air defense batteries were activated to counter Israeli strikes, “bringing down a number of missiles”.

According to Israel, the explosive devices discovered on the Israeli side of the border separating the two countries which are disputing the status of a portion of the Golan, had been “placed by a Syrian team led by Iranian forces”.

Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes and missiles on Syria since the outbreak of the war there in 2011, targeting Iranian forces and Lebanese Hezbollah troops deployed in Syrian territory, as well as Syrian government troops.

Trump dissuaded from intervening

According to the New York Times, Donald Trump had polled several of his main collaborators last week on the possibility of taking action “in the coming weeks” against an Iranian nuclear site, but these collaborators “dissuaded him from going there. ‘forward with a military strike’.

Donald Trump, who is due to leave the White House in January because of his defeat to Democrat Joe Biden in the November 3 presidential election, has been pursuing a policy he describes as “maximum pressure” against Iran for years. The sitting president withdrew the United States from the international agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue concluded in 2015, deeming it insufficient, and reinstated sanctions against Tehran.

According to Israeli experts, Benjamin Netanyahu is worried about the possibility that Joe Biden will initiate a diplomatic rapprochement with Iran and operate a return of the United States to the international nuclear agreement.

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