ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Tuesday’s Israeli attack on Iranian military bases south of the Syrian capital of Damascus killed at least 15 people, including eight Iranians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement on Wednesday.
Reports of an Israeli air raid in the Kisweh region followed a much-anticipated announcement by US President Donald Trump regarding a nuclear deal signed with Iran and world powers.
Trump announced the US would no longer remain in the pact, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), because of Tehran’s continued violations of the agreement.
Moments after the US President delivered his speech at the White House, Syrian state TV said its air defenses shot down two Israeli missiles.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory said the strikes hit depots and rocket launchers, killing 15 people, eight of them Iranians.
Israel’s military has not yet responded to the reports. The strikes were conducted following a “high-alert” warning by the military that it had identified “irregular activity” by Iranian forces in Syria.
Tehran is closely aligned with Damascus. It views the Syrian regime’s continued rule as vital to its regional ambitions, and it has supported President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s seven-year-long civil war, just as it supported Bashar’s father, Hafez al-Assad, before him.
Indeed, it was an Iranian-Syrian combination that drove Israel out of Lebanon, following Israel’s 1982 invasion of that country, as it aimed to expel the PLO from Beirut.
Israel succeeded in that objective, but a new terrorist threat then emerged in the form of the militant Shia organization, Hezbollah, which began as an Iranian-Syrian proxy force and presently wields very considerable influence in Lebanon.
Now, Israel is determined to eliminate Iran’s military presence in Syria and has conducted at least five strikes against Iranian positions since September.