by: Ilse Strauss
Wednesday, 13 January 2021 | Syrian media accused Israel of conducting a series of massive airstrikes shortly after midnight last night on more than 15 Iranian targets located near the Syria–Iraq border, an area known as the land corridor the ayatollahs use to transport soldiers and weapons from Tehran via Iraq to the various Iranian militias and proxies in Syria and Lebanon, Ynetnews reports.
This is the fourth alleged raid in Syria attributed to Israel in two weeks, signaling a significant step up in Jerusalem’s efforts to prevent Tehran from securing a military foothold in Israel’s war-torn neighbor.
According to local news source DeirEzzor24, the alleged Israeli strikes targeted at least 16 facilities, including warehouses, weapons depots, observation points and radar sites with links to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Tehran terror puppet Hezbollah and various other Iran-backed militias.
Syria’s official SANA news agency noted that Israel airstrikes in eastern Syria near the Iraq border are uncommon—although not unheard of—given the difficulty of operating that great a distance from Israel, speculating that this might be the reason for the exceptionally high number of targets hit.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-Syrian organization operating from Britain reported that 23 people were killed in the strike, 16 Iran-backed militia fighters and 7 Syrian soldiers. No official sources in Syria have corroborated this figure and the report remains unverified. Moreover, according to the Times of Israel, Syrian war analysts regularly accuse the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights with inventing or inflating casualties to garner sympathy and support.
Hours before the strike, Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited the Syrian border, vowing that Israel’s continued commitment to defend itself against enemies “near and far.”
“We aren’t sitting around and waiting,” he warned. “We’re active defensively, politically, and economically.”
In line with its usual policy of neither confirming nor denying any activity on foreign soil, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) remained mum regarding last night’s supposed strike.
Israel has, however, admitted to conducting hundreds of strikes since the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011 to thwart archenemy Iran’s attempts to establish a military foothold on Israel’s doorstep and to prevent the ayatollahs in Tehran from using the chaos of civil war to smuggle game-changing weapons from Iran via Syria to its terror proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The strikes form part of a shadow war or a war between wars pitting Israel against Iran on the battlefield of Syria with the sole objective of eroding Tehran’s military power on Israel’s northern border without bringing the shadow war into the light and triggering an all-out military confrontation.
Israeli defense officials have, however, vowed recently to step up its efforts against Iran in Syria, a vow which Western intelligence believes Jerusalem is making good on.
Last night’s raid comes less than a week after Syria accused Israel of conducting a number of airstrikes on targets—reportedly Iranian Revolutionary Guard bases—near Damascus, two weeks after Jerusalem allegedly struck an Iranian target in western Syria and three weeks after an Israeli strike reportedly destroyed four weapons manufacturing facilities in the northwest of the country.
Posted on January 13, 2021
Source: (Bridges for Peace, January 13, 2021)
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