The Associated Press reported that unidentified warplanes targeted an arms depot overnight along with Iranian-backed militia posts in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border. At least 18 fighters were killed, according to Syrian opposition activists.
The strikes come amid increasing tensions in the region and the crisis between Iran and the U.S. in the wake of the collapsing nuclear deal between Tehran and global powers.
An official with an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq blames Israel for the airstrikes that hit in the eastern Syrian town of Boukamal. There was no immediate comment from Israel but let’s face it, when it comes to honesty, Iran is to Israel as the mainstream media is to President Trump.
Last month Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Iran has no immunity anywhere and that the Israeli military “will act — and currently are acting — against them.”
According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the airstrikes began late on Sunday and continued after midnight, killing 18 Iranian and pro-Iranian fighters and also causing extensive damage.
Another local activist collective in eastern Syria however, claimed the death toll to be 21 jihadis and 36 wounded adding that the strikes targeted positions held by Iranian militias and Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, which is comprised mostly of Iran-backed Shi’ite Muslim militias. They did not specify who the dead and wounded were.
Naturally, an anonymous Syria-based official for the Iraqi militia claimed that Israel was behind the attack, adding that four missiles fired by warplanes hit a post manned by Iranian gunmen and members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group. He claimed that there were no Iraqi casualties in the strike which hit about 2 miles from the Iraq border.
The Israeli military remained mum on the airstrike but said rockets launched from Syria on Monday fell short and did not land in Israel. The military said the rockets were launched from the outskirts of Damascus by Shi’ite militants operating under the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The military said it holds the Syrian government responsible for the attempted attack.
And so it goes.
Israel sees Iran as its main threat and allegedly struck Iran-linked targets in a pre-emptive self-defense strategy hitting targets as far away as Iraq. Israel has also struck Iranian targets in Lebanon and Syria.
Also Monday, Lebanon’s Hezbollah said it shot down an Israeli drone over southern Lebanon, shortly after it crossed from Israel amid rising tensions along the border between the two countries in recent weeks. [The plastic drone pilot is believed to have parachuted to safety.]
A Hezbollah statement said the drone was downed with “suitable weapons” over the village of Ramieh and that the militants now have it and are playing with it. The statement did not elaborate further.
The IDF said a “drone on a routine mission in northern Israel fell,” without elaborating on what it was doing nor how it was downed. It said the drone was “simple” and that there was no risk of a breach of information if it fell into enemy hands.
Last month, Hezbollah leader Sayaad Hassan Nasrallah said his anti-Semitic group would confront and shoot down any Israeli drones that enter Lebanese airspace, raising the potential for conflict amid heightened tensions.
Nasrallah spoke after authorities said one alleged Israeli drone crashed in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut, landing on the roof of a building that houses Hezbollah’s media office, and another exploded and crashed in a plot behind the building, causing material damage.
Last week, Israel and Hezbollah fired upon each other for the first time in years. Hezbollah started by launching anti-tank missiles at an Israeli armored vehicle near the border, causing no casualties. Israel retaliated with artillery fire into southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah said last week’s missile strike was in retaliation for an Israeli airstrike near Damascus last month that killed two terrorists. Israel said the attack thwarted an Iranian-arranged drone attack squad. Days after the airstrike, Hezbollah said two Israeli attack drones crash-landed in Beirut.
And so it goes.