||Last Updated: Nov 21, 2022 - 4:45:00 PM
What happened: In the latest strikes attributed to Israel, several targets were hit along the Syrian Mediterranean coast early Saturday morning.
- According to Syrian media, four Syrian soldiers were killed and one injured when the Israeli Air Force attacked Syrian military bases in Latakia and Homs.
- According to Syrian opposition a brigadier general and a captain in the Syrian army were killed.
- These Syrian military bases are also used by forces affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
- On Friday Minister of Defence Gantz met with his Greek counterpart, in his public remarks afterwards Gantz said: “Iranian aggression continues to be a great threat to the region and the world. We see this in Iran’s involvement in the war in Ukraine. We see this in Iran’s advancing nuclear programme – recently emphasised by the Board of Governors (IAEA) We see this in Iran’s support for terror proxies in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and Judea and Samaria. And just this week, an Iranian UAV was launched at a civilian vessel. It is critical to stop the spread of Iranian influence and ambitions. This is what Israel aims to achieve, through some of our activities under the CENTCOM umbrella, and we will continue to operate against any attempt to build terror bases on our borders.”
Context: Over the last few months Israel has increased its strikes in Syria, primarily targeting Iran’s efforts to supply advanced weapon systems to Hezbollah and the Iranian proxy militias based in Syria.
- Israel does not formally acknowledge every strike but has in the past revealed that Israel has struck hundreds of military targets in Syria as part of their doctrine of the ‘campaigns between the wars.’
- Iran uses air, sea and land routes to deliver its weapons which include drones, precision guided surface to surface missiles as well as anti- aircraft and ship missiles.
- Saturday’s strike was the second one in a week. Earlier in the week, the Syrian army announced that a military airport in the Homs region had been attacked and damaged. That airport also served the Iranian air force. According to the report, two army officers were killed in that attack, and three more injured.
- Two weeks ago there were reports of an Israeli attack near the Syria-Iraq border in which 14 members of Iranian militias were killed. It was claimed that an Israeli drone attacked a weapons convoy hidden in gas containers.
- Last month, it was reported in Syria that the Israeli Air Force attacked Iranian weapons shipments in Damascus and in southern Syria.
- In another example of Israeli intelligence, over the weekend, YNET revealed the identities of senior Iranians commanders based in Syria.
- According to the report the new "General of the Syrian Command" is Haj Haider, based in Damascus who replaced Jawad Afari due to his perceived failures. Haider has previously served in a similar position in Iraq. Under Haider’s command are:
- Sid Rachi, responsible for assisting Hezbollah.
- Abdullah Abadi, responsible for the attempts to smuggle weapons by air.
- Mitham Katabi, responsible for receiving the weapons on the Syrian side.
- Hassan Mahdoi, commander of all Iranian forces active in Syria and Lebanon.
- Behanam Shahriari, commander of Unit 190, who is in charge of all the smuggling routes from Iran to Syria.
- Israel is concerned that Iran has placed dozens of rocket-firing positions aimed towards Israel. In addition, despite Israeli efforts to prevent the weapons smuggling Iran has thousands of drones and suicide drones stored in Syria, similar to those now deployed by Russian against Ukraine.
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