Israel carries out ‘wide-scale strikes’ on Iranian forces in Syria

A photo released by Syria's Sana news agency apparently showing a destroyed house west of Damascus, Syria. Photo: 20 November 2019Picture copyright
AFP/Getty Photos

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Syria’s state media launched photographs of what they are saying are destroyed homes close to Damascus

Israel says it has hit dozens of targets in Syria belonging to the federal government and allied Iranian forces.

The Israeli army says the “wide-scale strikes” responded to rockets fired by an Iranian unit into Israel.

Syria says two civilians died and that Syrian air defences shot down a lot of the missiles over Damascus. Different experiences say the loss of life toll was greater.

Native experiences stated loud explosions had been heard within the capital. Footage on social media confirmed a lot of fires.

On Tuesday morning, the Israeli army stated it had intercepted 4 rockets fired from Syria in the direction of northern Israel. It stated the rockets didn’t hit the bottom.

Israel has carried out tons of of strikes in Syria for the reason that civil warfare broke out in 2011.

It has been making an attempt to thwart what it calls Iran’s “army entrenchment” there and block shipments of Iranian weapons to Lebanon’s Hezbollah motion.

However the newest operation was one of many broadest assaults to this point, says the BBC’s Barbara Plett Usher in Jerusalem.

A senior Israeli safety official stated the Israelis had selected a robust retaliatory strike to sign they had been “altering the foundations” – that even a small assault from Syria would set off an in depth response, our correspondent experiences.

What did Israel say?

Early on Wednesday, the Israel Protection Forces (IDF) tweeted that the strikes focused positions of Iran’s Quds Drive and Syria’s armed forces.

Skip Twitter put up by @IDF

#BREAKING: We simply carried out wide-scale strikes of Iranian Quds Drive & Syrian Armed Forces targets in Syria in response to the rockets fired at Israel by an Iranian drive in Syria final evening.

— Israel Protection Forces (@IDF) November 20, 2019

Finish of Twitter put up by @IDF

“Throughout our strike of Iranian & Syrian terror targets, a Syrian air defence missile was fired regardless of clear warnings to chorus from such hearth. Because of this, a lot of Syrian aerial defence batteries had been destroyed,” the IDF stated.

The IDF additionally stated it held “the Syrian regime accountable for the actions that happen in Syrian territory and warn them towards permitting additional assaults towards Israel”.

Iran’s Quds Drive is the exterior operations wing of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC).

Israel didn’t goal the Russian-made superior S-300 surface-to-air missile techniques deployed close to the positions of Russian troops, Israeli media report.

Russia, whose forces have helped turned the tide of Syria’s civil warfare in favour of President Bashar al-Assad, condemned the Israeli strikes.

What did Syria say?

Syria’s state information company Sana stated that the nation’s “air defence confronted the heavy assault and intercepted the hostile missiles”.

It stated that Syria destroyed “most” of the Israeli missiles.

The information company added that the strikes on Syrian territory had been carried out from “Lebanese and Palestinian territories”.

Israel has a lot of instances hit targets inside Syria from warfare planes in Lebanese airspace.

Danny Makki, a British-Syrian journalist primarily based in Damascus, posted footage of what he stated he believed had been Israeli missiles hitting targets south of Damascus.

Syria stated two civilians had been killed within the Israeli strikes.

In the meantime, a UK-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), stated that 11 fighters, together with seven foreigners, died.

The SOHR stated that the Israeli missiles hit websites in and round Damascus in Kiswa, Saasaa, Mezzeh army airport, Jdaidat Artouz, Qudsaya and Sahnaya.

And what about Iran?

The Iranian authorities have thus far made no public remark.

What’s the Quds Drive?

The Quds (Jerusalem) Drive solutions on to Iran’s Supreme Chief, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei.

It’s led by Maj Gen Qasem Soleimani, who’s believed to be greater than a mere army commander.

For the reason that US-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq in 2003, the Quds Drive has intensified its operations throughout the Center East, offering coaching, funding and weapons to non-state teams allied to Tehran.

It has additionally developed types of uneven warfare, akin to swarm ways, drone and cyber-attacks, which have allowed Iran to undermine its enemies’ superiority in standard weapons.

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Gen Qasem Soleimani instructions the IRGC’s shadowy Quds Drive

In April, US President Donald Trump designated the IRGC, together with the Quds Drive, a “international terrorist organisation” (FTO). It was the primary time the US had named part of one other authorities as an FTO.

The Quds Forces has about 5,000 personnel, a lately revealed report by the US army says.

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