- Israel’s Defence Forces (IDF) have tweeted that they have begun striking Iranian targets inside Syria.
- Israel’s powerful military tweeted that they are targeting elite units of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, known as The Quds.
- Normally reticent, the IDF has not provided any further information, but did warn Syria not to ‘harm’ any Israeli’s or Israeli territory.
- The move is a calculated response by the IDF which said earlier on Sunday that it intercepted missiles launched out of Syria toward Israel.
Israel’s Defence Forces says they have begun striking Iranian targets inside Syria, tweeting that they are targeting the Iranian Revolutionary Guards elite forces, the Quds.
Israel has not provided any other details, but it’s military warned Syria on Twitter not to “harm” Israeli forces or territory.
Tensions have escalated quickly between forces within the two neighbouring countries.
Netanyahu: “We have a defined policy: to harm Iranian entrenchment in Syria.”
We have started striking Iranian Quds targets in Syrian territory. We warn the Syrian Armed Forces against attempting to harm Israeli forces or territory.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) January 20, 2019
“We warn the Syrian Armed Forces against attempting to harm Israeli forces or territory,” Haaretz.com reported the IDF as saying, adding that the IDF hit targets belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite unit Quds Force.
The move is a calculated response by the IDF which said earlier on Sunday that it intercepted missiles launched out of Syria toward Israel.
Syrian media say air defences managed to repel “an Israeli aerial attack,” following reports of strikes in and around the Syrian capital Damascus early on Monday.
Associated Press reports that earlier on Sunday the IDF said it had intercepted a rocket over the Golan Heights.
The statement is a surprising break with protocol for an Israeli military with a reputation for adhering to its own discipline and systems.
The IDF very rarely signals its intent with a statement to media or via any public admissions most particularly when considering its largely covert military operations in Syria.
With so much at stake, Israel has sought to keep its profile and involvement in the bloody and drawn out civil war to a minimum.
According to Syrian military the IDF began intensive airstrikes, launching groups of missiles shortly after 1 a.m.local time. Reports via the BBC suggest that the Syrian air defences destroyed most of the missiles before they hit their targets.
On Sunday, Syrian state media confirmed that air defences successfully protected the international airport south of Damascus.
Syrian state TV said the war torn nation’s air defences “prevented” the attack, saying Israel targeted 6 missiles near Damascus International Airport. State TV said that 5 were intercepted while the last was “diverted.”
Witnesses heard explosions overnight and while the damage remains uncertain, the BBC reports that the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights believes Israeli rockets were directly targeting Damascus.
The operation comes after Israeli said that “a rocket was fired at the northern Golan Heights and was intercepted by the Iron Dome Aerial Defence System”.
While Israel rarely confirms or denies it’s strategic operations inside Syria, or elsewhere, but with the political future of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the spotlight, the prime minister issued a warning himself while in Chad on Sunday.
After Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile shield intercepted a rocket fired toward the Golan Heights, Netanyahu, released a a statement reminding his constituents if Israel’s standing policy.
Israel’s Iron Dome
“We have a defined policy: to harm Iranian entrenchment in Syria and to harm anyone who tries to harm us.”
Netanyahu has previously claimed that Israel has destroyed hundreds of Iran-linked objectives in Syria, including a weapons facility linked to Hezbollah two weeks ago.
In May last year, Israel said it destroyed almost all of Iran’s military infrastructure inside Syria in its such biggest assault since the start of the Syrian civil war 8 years ago
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