Aswathe of Syria has been targeted by Israeli warplanes, but the offensive since Wednesday actually reflects the geostrategic reality ~ Tel-Aviv has bared its angst against Iran, indeed positions and arms depots of forces backed by the regime in Tehran.
Iran is in the vortex of an international controversy over its nuclear programme. Dozens of fighters are said to have been killed or wounded.
The airstrikes were carried out on the basis of intelligence feedback advanced by the United States.
This must rank as a rare instance of publicised cooperation between the two countries over choosing targets ~ from the skies ~ in Syria. This explains why the airstrikes targeted warehouses in Syria that were being used to store and then use Iranian weapons. These warehouses also functioned as a pipeline for components that support Iran’s nuclear programme.
Wednesday’s blitz was preceded by talks that the outgoing Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, had with Yossi Cohen, the head of Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, in Washington on Monday.
Syria has confirmed that the strikes hit areas that straddle the border with Iraq. Short of giving details, the embattled regime in Damascus has confirmed that Syrian air defence responded to the incoming missiles. An Opposition war monitor reported no fewer than 18 strikes in Deir-elZour and along the border with Iraq. The offensive was marked by attacks on several arms depots.
There were no fewer than 39 Israeli strikes inside Syria last year, targeting as many as 139 military installations, notably military posts, warehouses and vehicles. No fewer than 217 people were killed, by and large militiamen allied to Iran. The latest wave of airstrikes has occurred in the midst of heightened regional tension in the twilight phase of Donald Trump’s administration.
Thursday’s unprecedented second impeachment must have rendered him still more bewildered to react to the renewed ferment in the Arab world. Whereas the Russian aerial bombardment had targeted insurgents in Syria ~ the presidential palace in Damascus was unscathed ~ the Israeli bombing appears to have been calibrated with remarkable presision.
Israel regards entrenchment on its northern frontier as a red line. It has repeatedly struck Iran-linked facilities and convoys headed for the Hezbollah, Lebanon’s militant group. The airstrikes also coincide with the Israeli warplane missions in Lebanese skies, that have caused consternation in the Middle East, and have prompted Lebanon to complain to the United Nations. Tel-Aviv has justified the overflights, claiming that Hezbollah has violated the 2006 UN resolution that bars Lebanon from building up its military capabilities and operating near the Israeli border.
The geopolitical ferment has intensified as one US President takes the bow and another prepares to enter the Oval Office.