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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.

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - World

Scoop: Sudan wants to seal Israel normalization deal at White House

Burhan. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty

Three months after Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel, it still hasn't signed an agreement to formally do so. Israeli officials tell me one reason has now emerged: Sudan wants to sign the deal at the White House.

Driving the news: Israel sent Sudan a draft agreement for establishing diplomatic relations several weeks ago, but the Sudanese didn’t reply, the officials say. On Tuesday, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Eli Cohen raised that issue in Khartoum during the first-ever visit of an Israeli minister to Sudan.

Jan 26, 2021 - World

Biden administration lays out its policies on Israel-Palestine at the UN

Biden with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2010. Photo: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

The Biden administration today laid out its policies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and stressed its intention to renew ties with the Palestinian Authority.

Why it matters: The Trump administration dramatically changed U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. President Biden's policies, laid out for the first time today, will shift the U.S. back to the more traditional positions held by previous Democratic and Republican administrations.

12 mins ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

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