Skip to comments.After Iranian barrage, Israel launches massive counterattack in Syria
Posted on 05/09/2018 6:59:35 PM PDT by Eddie01
IDF warns Syrian military not to interfere as it pummels Iranian targets in largest direct exchange between Jerusalem, Tehran By Today, 4:38 am 1
Some 20 rockets were fired at Israeli military bases by Iranian forces from southern Syria just after midnight on Thursday, sparking the largest ever direct clash between Jerusalem and Tehran, with Israeli jets targeting numerous Iranian-controlled sites across Syria.
The Israeli army said the initial missile barrage was carried out by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Forces. This appeared to be the first time that Israel attributed an attack directly to Iran, which generally operates through proxies.
Some of the incoming missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, the army said. There were no reports of Israeli casualties in the attack. An IDF spokesperson said damage was caused to Israeli military bases, but that it was limited.
Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories FREE SIGN UP In response, Israel launched an extensive retaliatory campaign, striking suspected Iranian bases throughout Syria for hours following the initial Iranian bombardment, an Israeli military spokesperson said, warning Syrian dictator Bashar Assad not to get involved.
The Israel Defense Forces is taking action at this moment against Iranian targets in Syria. Any Syrian involvement against this move will be met with the utmost seriousness, wrote Avichay Adraee, the Israeli militarys Arabic-language spokesperson, on Twitter.
According to Arabic media reports, the Israeli Air Force struck numerous targets in and around Damascus, including the Mezzeh military air field, which is reportedly home to Assads elite republican guard. A large air raid was also reported near the northwestern Syrian town of Qusayr near the Lebanese border, a known Hezbollah stronghold.
Syrias state news agency, after initially reporting that the countrys air defenses were intercepting dozens of hostile Israeli missiles, later said Israeli jets were aiming to destroy anti-aircraft defences and radar.
In the days and weeks before the Iranian barrage, defense officials repeatedly warned that Israel would respond aggressively to any attack from Syria.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladmir Putin in Moscow about Irans explicit goal of attacking the State of Israel as part of their strategy to destroy the State of Israel, he said. Netanyahu told reporters after the meeting that Putin was receptive to Israels demand that it be allowed to operate freely in Syrias skies in order to defend itself.
The late-night Iranian rocket barrage and Israeli counterattack appeared to be the largest exchange in Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
In light of the aerial battles, numerous cities and towns in northern Israel decided to open their public bomb shelters, though the army did not require all of them to do so. Residents of central Israel reported hearing numerous fighter jets flying overhead.
Shortly before 3 a.m. a loud blast was heard in the northern city of Safed, prompting its mayor to release a statement to residents reassuring them that the explosion was not a missile strike or anything else, but rather an IDF launch from our area.
Tehran has repeatedly vowed revenge after the T-4 army base in Syria was struck in an air raid widely attributed to Israel on April 9, killing at least seven members of the IRGC, including a senior officer responsible for the groups drone program.
It apparently attempted to exact that revenge at 12:10 a.m. on Thursday, with its bombardment on Israeli military bases on the Golan Heights.
Sirens blared across the Golan Heights throughout the exchange, sending residents into bomb shelters. The IDF Home Front Command called on residents to adhere to security instructions as needed. Residents of the Golan Heights were told they could leave the bomb shelters around 2 a.m., but were instructed to remain near the fortified areas until further notice.
The pro-Syrian government Al-Mayadeen TV said more than 50 missiles not 20, as the IDF said had been fired from Syria toward Israeli forces on the Golan Heights. A Syrian parliamentarian claimed on Twitter that Damascus, not Tehran, had launched the attack.
Immediately following the barrage, Syrian state media reported that Israeli artillery fire targeted a military post near the city of Baath in the Quneitra border region, where Syrian regime forces were stationed.
In the hours that followed, this Israeli retaliation expanded to include more artillery strikes and aerial bombings, according to Syrian reports.
Following the initial exchange, IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the army was still sorting out many of the specific details related to the attack, such as which army bases were targeted, what types of projectiles were used, how many rockets were fired, from where they were launched, and how many were intercepted.
A video shared on social media shortly after midnight on Thursday appeared to show the barrage of missiles apparently being fired by a multiple launch rocket systems, or MLRS, from Syria toward Israel.
Residents of both the Israeli and Syrian Golan Heights reported hearing loud, repeated explosions.
A man inside a bomb shelter in the northern Israeli city of Safed, May 8, 2018. (David Cohen/Flash90) The attack came a day after the military called on local governments on the Golan Heights to open bomb shelters, in light of abnormal activities by Iranian forces in Syria. The barrage also followed US President Donald Trumps announcement on Tuesday night that he was pulling the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions on Tehran.
On Tuesday, eight Iranians were among 15 foreign pro-regime fighters killed in a suspected Israeli strike in Syria on a weapons depot of Irans elite Revolutionary Guards, a monitor said. The raid struck the area of Kisweh south of Damascus late Tuesday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said on Wednesday.
This frame grab from video provided on Wednesday, May, 9, 2018 by Syria News, shows people standing in front of flames rising after an attack on an area known to have numerous Syrian army military bases, in Kisweh, south of Damascus, Syria on Tuesday. (Syria News, via AP) Syrias official news agency SANA said on Tuesday the army had intercepted two Israeli missiles fired toward Kisweh, with state television broadcasting images of fires in the nearby area.
Since the start of Syrias civil war in 2011, Israel has repeatedly targeted positions of the Syrian army and the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group backing it inside the country.
On April 29, missile strikes probably Israeli fired on regime military positions near the cities of Hama and Aleppo in northern Syria killed at least 26 mostly Iranian fighters, according to the Observatory.
On April 9, missiles targeted the T-4 air base in the central province of Homs, killing up to 14 fighters, including seven Iranians, two days after an alleged chemical attack carried out by the Syrian regime.
Russia, Iran and Syria accused Israel of carrying out the strike.
In light of both the general tension and specific intelligence, the IDF went on high alert this week, deploying additional missile defense batteries in northern Israel. There is high preparedness of IDF troops for an attack, the army said on Tuesday.
A number of army reservists were called upon Tuesday night, the army said. An IDF spokesperson would not elaborate on which units they came from, but media reports indicated they served in air defense, intelligence and Home Front Command units.
Earlier on Tuesday, the US embassy in Israel also prohibited American government employees from visiting the Golan Heights without approval in light of the security situation on the border.
The IDF is ready and prepared for a variety of scenarios and warns that any action against Israel will be answered with a fierce retaliation, the army said.
On Sunday night, Israeli defense officials warned that Iran was planning to retaliate for recent deadly airstrikes in Syria, which have been attributed to the Jewish state, by having its proxies fire missiles at military targets in northern Israel sometime in the near future.
Security forces were also preparing for the possibility of attempted infiltrations of military bases and communities in the north, Hadashot TV news reported on Monday.
A retaliation to the retaliation to the retaliation. Just leave us OUT of it. No dog in that fight. And we are broke.
I know the couple of Jooo haters here won’t like it, but Bibi was in Moscow today, STRENGTHENING their relationship (between Israel and Russia), which is already very strong, in fact, much stronger than Israel’s relationship with Obama.
Even though the Jooo haters here won’t like it, it does seem that both Israel and Russian have a LOT in common regarding Iran, starting with the fact that Iranian nukes (the ones that Obama tried so desperately for them to obtain) would actually be located closer to Russia than to Israel, and neither country wants the Mullahs to blasting away at them and killing millions of their people.
Lots of other common interests too...and that is why Israel can strike Syrian targets without any complaints from Russia, as Russia understand EXACTLY why Israel is doing it.
Israel is one of our best allies and the only free country in the Middle East. And God has promised to bless those who bless Israel. Perilous times ahead where all will be tested. I pray our country will defend Israel and not abandon our ally no matter what the antisemites among us want.
The Iranian counter attack was for two bombing by Israel inside sovereign Syria that were unprovoked? so this was a counter attack to the counter attack . Right? I have a sense of history that actually goes back 4 weeks, The main thing for our country is to not get sucked into this at all. If they want to kill each other— God Speed. God’s “ chosen people”after the resurrection are believers in Jesus as Son of God, in my view. Good luck to all. call us when it is over.
May be so but at some point Russia will turn on Israel in a big way
Israel is defending itself. I have no problem with that.
Get out of Syria then Persia! You have no right to be there. Stay and provoke to your own peril.
Go back to ZeroHedge or StormFront.
God Bless Israel and grant them clear skies.
Now go get some, IDF!
“May be so but at some point Russia will turn on Israel in a big way”
Why do you think that?
“May be so but at some point Russia will turn on Israel in a big way”
Maybe...I don’t see much for Russia to gain with fighting Israel. It’s not the Cold War anymore and they don’t really have an interest in taking down our allies like they did.
But time will tell...for now, they are two VERY CLOSE countries. Israel in indebted to Russia for allowing so many Russian Jews to emigrate there (to Israel, in the millions), and I suspect that Russia appreciates the way that Israel has accepted and taken care of their former citizens - the treatment of Russian expats is very important to Russia - and when they don’t like that treatment, they take action, as in Ukraine.
In fact, about 6 years ago, Russia opened up the “Museum of Jewish History and Tolerance” in Moscow, and Shimon Peres was right there next to Putin on opening day. This is a SERIOUSLY close friendship between two nations.
Iranians launch 20 missiles into Israel at midnight. (No Israelis casualties.)
Israelis launch massive air strike inside Syria at dawn. (Devastating.)
Rinse, wash and repeat.
Regardless of any religious significance about Israel, I just love seeing 150 million Arabs unable to defeat 8 million Israeli’s.
Good. Cover Israel against all nations in the Axis of Evil. Israel is defending against our enemies, too.
And why should Russia share the spoils of Syria with Iran if it doesn’t have to? That would make no sense.
Petty move by Iran. This was meant to weaken Trump and probably had ValJars blessing.
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