Syrian state media say three soldiers were killed when the Israeli army said it bombed Iranian and Syrian army targets.
Israel has launched airstrikes against Syria, killing three soldiers and wounding another, in what the Israeli military called a retaliatory strike after it found explosive devices along its northern border.
The airstrikes were against what he called a wide range of Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria, sending a signal Wednesday that Israel will continue its policy of striking across the border despite the electoral defeat of US President Donald Trump.
Israel said it was retaliating for what it called an Iranian-sponsored operation, in which Syrians planted explosives near an Israeli military base in the occupied Golan Heights.
Israeli attacks on Syria
Israel has frequently attacked what it says are Iran-linked targets in Syria in recent years and has escalated those attacks over the past year in what Western intelligence sources describe as a shadow war to reduce Iran’s influence. .
But the Israeli strikes on Wednesday hit a much wider range of targets than usual, and the Israeli military was more outspoken about the details than in the past, suggesting a clear intention to send a public message.
In a statement on Wednesday that we have on La Verdad Noticias, the Israeli army said that its fighter jets hit “military targets belonging to the Iranian Quds force and the Syrian Armed Forces” in the night attacks.
Western countries say Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force is responsible for supporting Tehran’s allies in power conflicts across the Middle East.
The targets also included “storage facilities, military headquarters and complexes”, as well as “Syrian surface-to-air missile batteries.”
The Syrian state news agency SANA reported that three soldiers were killed and one injured in the “Israeli aggression.”
Israel has carried out hundreds of air and missile strikes against Syria since the civil war broke out in 2011, against Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces, as well as against government troops.
He rarely acknowledges individual raids, but has done so by responding to what he describes as aggression within Israeli territory.
On Tuesday, the Israeli military said it had discovered improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on its side of the occupied Golan Heights. He called the incident “clearer evidence of Iranian entrenchment in Syria.”
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, on a visit to the northern border on Tuesday, said Israel will not tolerate the placement of explosives in the Golan, territory captured from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to this. It is a serious incident, “Gantz told reporters.
Israel’s army said it “holds the Syrian regime accountable for all actions perpetrated from its territory and will continue to operate as necessary against the Iranian entrenchment in Syria.”
“War of the shadows”
Iran has been a key ally of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the civil war that has killed more than 380,000 people and erupted following the brutal crackdown on anti-government protests.
The Al-Assad government has never publicly acknowledged that there are Iranian forces operating on its behalf in the Syrian civil war.
Western intelligence sources say the surge in Israeli attacks on Syria this year is part of a shadow war approved by Washington in a bid to control Iran’s military reach.
The raids on Wednesday came hours before U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in Israel for talks, including on Iran, in what will likely be his last visit to the country before Trump leaves office in January.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called Trump his country’s strongest ally in the White House, has praised the administration for its hard-line approach to Iran.
Trump’s so-called “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran has included sanctions and the elimination of the nuclear deal agreed between Tehran and world powers during Barack Obama’s presidency.
Israeli experts have said Netanyahu is concerned that President-elect Joe Biden, Obama’s former vice president, will try to re-engage Iran diplomatically, possibly by restoring the nuclear deal.