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Israel Sends ‘Message’ to Iran, Syria with Pre-dawn Attack
Syrian air defenses are shown in January 2019 responding to what state media said were Israeli airstrikes targeting Damascus. (Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel Sends ‘Message’ to Iran, Syria with Pre-dawn Attack

In pre-dawn airstrikes on Wednesday, the Israel Air Force hit eight targets in Syria in response to a thwarted Iran-backed attack against Israeli ground troops in the Golan Heights. Sources in Syria said that between three and 10 people, including Iranians, were killed in the airstrikes. The IAF’s targets were adjacent to Damascus, the Syrian capital, and close to the Golan border. An IDF spokesman said the strikes were meant as a message to Iran: “We won’t allow Iranian entrenchment [in Syria] at all, and next to the border specifically.” The spokesman also pointed out that in Israeli eyes, Syria is responsible for Iran’s continuing presence in the country. The IAF says it hit facilities controlled by the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and used as a secret hosting facility for senior Iranian delegations when they come to Syria to operate anti-aircraft emplacements. The attack came after Israeli forces discovered and disarmed three anti-personnel mines on Tuesday. The mines had been camouflaged and placed along the border area where Israeli forces patrol. Israel is believed to be responsible for scores of other aerial attacks against Iranian targets in Syria for which it has not claimed responsibility.

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