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January 25, 2019  RSS feed
World News

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Israel strikes Iranian targets in Syria

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli warplanes struck Iranian targets in Syria hours after an Iranian-made missile was fired at northern Israel by an Iranian force in Syria.

The strikes on Sunday night, Jan. 20, hit munitions storage sites, an intelligence site, a military training camp and a military site in the Damascus International Airport, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Russia’s defense control center in Syria said that four Syrian soldiers were killed and six wounded in the attacks. Syrian military air defenses destroyed more than 30 cruise missiles and guided bombs during the airstrikes, according to Russia.

The IDF warned Syria ahead of the strikes on the Iranian targets not to fire anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli planes during the attack. However, dozens of Syrian surface to-air missiles were launched during the attack, causing the Israeli warplanes to target several of the Syrian Armed Forces’ aerial defense batteries, according to the IDF.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London, reported that 11 people were killed, of which two were Syrian nationals. It said that the death toll is expected to rise.

IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said the ground-to-ground missile attack on that Sunday afternoon on the Israelicontrolled Golan Heights in northern Israel was planned.

“By firing towards Israeli civilians, Iran once again proved that it is attempting to entrench itself in Syria, endangering the State of Israel and regional stability,” Manelis said. “The IDF will continue to act decisively and firmly against the Iranian establishment in Syria.”

The missile attack came after Israel earlier in the day targeted a munitions depot at the Damascus airport. The daylight attack was a departure from previous airstrikes.

Israel has been more direct in recent weeks about acknowledging airstrikes on Syria. Outgoing Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot told The New York Times earlier this month that Israel launched thousands of attacks on Syria during his four years in the position.

The Mount Hermon ski slopes and winter activities site was closed the following day due to security concerns.

The commander of the Iranian Air Force said his country was prepared for a decisive war with Israel, “which will bring an end to the IDF’s attacks on Syria.”

“Our armed forces are prepared for a war that will bring the destruction of Israel,” he said, according to reports. “We are ready for the day when we will see the end of Israel.”

Syria’s representative to the United Nations also made threats in a speech to the body on Wednesday, Jan. 23. “Does drawing the attention of the war-makers in this Council require us to exercise our legitimate right to self-defense and respond to Israeli aggression on Damascus International Airport by responding in the same way on Tel Aviv Airport?” Syria’s representative to the United Nations said on Wednesday, Jan. 23.

Following these threats of retaliation, the Iron Dome air defense system was deployed in central Israel, near Tel Aviv.

Meanwhile, Israeli troops operating near the border with Syria on Wednesday night, Jan. 23, were fired on, and returned fire, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

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