Nov 18, 2020 - World

Israel launches airstrikes on Iranian-linked sites in Syria

An Israeli Merkava battle tank takes part in a military drill in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, near the border with Syria, on August 4

An Israeli Merkava battle tank takes part in an August military drill at the Golan Heights, near Israel's border with Syria, where Israel said Syria planted improvised explosive device. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

The Israeli Air Force conducted air strikes Tuesday night on Syrian army and Iranian Quds Force targets near Damascus — hours after several improvised explosive devices were discovered on the Israeli side of the border in the Golan Heights.

Why it matters: Tuesday marked the second time in three months that explosive devices were discovered on the Israeli side of the border. Israel claims Iran's Quds Force is using pro-Iranian militias and local Syrian operatives to open a front with Israel in the Golan and engage in attacks on Israeli forces.

Driving the news: An Israeli Defense Force spokesperson said Israel's air force jets attacked the headquarters of the 7th division of the Syrian army near the Golan Heights, from where he said the Iranian forces operate.

  • Other targets were a military base near Damascus international airport that is operated by Iranian forces and another military site near Damascus where Iranian officers live, he added.
  • The Israeli Air Force also attacked Syrian army surface to air missile batteries.
  • The state-run Syrian news agency said three Syrian soldiers were killed in the airstrikes and one was wounded.  

What's next: Israeli officials expect the Iranian forces to continue with attempts to attack near the border using their local proxies.

  • Israeli officials said they believe the Syrian government is also responsible for the attacks against Israel from its territory.
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